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The time course of grief reactions to spousal loss: evidence from a national probability sample

Carnelley, Katherine B., Wortman, Camille B., Bolger, Niall and Burke, Christopher T. (2006) The time course of grief reactions to spousal loss: evidence from a national probability sample Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, (3), pp. 476-492. (doi:10.1037/0022-3514.91.3.476).

Record type: Article


Most studies of widowhood have focused on reactions during the first few years postloss. The authors investigated whether widowhood had more enduring effects using a nationally representative U.S. sample. Participants were 768 individuals who had lost their spouse (from a few months to 64 years) prior to data collection. Results indicated that the widowed continued to talk, think, and feel emotions about their lost spouse decades later. Twenty years postloss, the widowed thought about their spouse once every week or 2 and had a conversation about their spouse once a month on average. About 12.6 years postloss, the widowed reported feeling upset between sometimes and rarely when they thought about their spouse. These findings add to an understanding of the time course of grief.

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Published date: 2006
Keywords: bereavement, widowhood, continuing bonds, meaning, positive growth


Local EPrints ID: 40379
ISSN: 0022-3514
PURE UUID: 029a15df-bc5f-4412-9308-21eb8177ccfd

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Date deposited: 03 Jul 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:34

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Author: Camille B. Wortman
Author: Niall Bolger
Author: Christopher T. Burke

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