The National Archive of Grief Support Studies
The National Archive of Grief Support Studies(NAGSS) database provides bibliographical information and summaries of recent articles selected for their relevance to grief and bereavement service providers. The articles that are summarized are selected from scholarly, peer-reviewed journals and are intended to highlight key concepts as well as provide a brief statement of implications for service providers. Bibliographical information may be used to obtain the original article.
Sense-Making, Grief, and The Experience of Violent Loss: Toward a Mediational Model
Currier, Joseph M.
Holland, Jason M.
Neimeyer, Robert A.
Death Studies: 2006. Volume 30, pp. 403-428.
This study was designed to examine the role of sense-making as a meditational factor influencing the development of complicated grief following a loss. Undergraduate students in psychology who had experienced a significant death in the prior two years participated in the study. The students completed the Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG) and other questionnaires involving demographics, the nature of the loss experienced, and sense-making. The researchers concluded that the study participants who were able to “make sense” or “find meaning” in the death were less likely to develop symptoms of complicated grief. The authors state that although violent death may raise the risk of the development of complicated grief, the ability to make sense of the death was more influential in determining the actual grief response.
Key words: accident, college, homicide, trauma, complicated, prolonged, meaning, sense
Service Provider Implications
The authors of this article propose that service providers working with bereaved individuals who have experienced the violent death of a loved one provide interventions that assist in meaning-making. Exercises that contribute to meaning-making include telling the story of the loved one and the loss, and identifying new life goals that incorporate acknowledgement of the loss. The ability to find meaning in the presence of loss may decrease the likelihood of developing complicated grief.