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.
Resilience to Loss and Chronic Grief: A Prospective Study From Preloss to 18-months Postloss
Bonanno, George A.
Wortman, Camille B.
Tweed, Roger G.
Nesse, Randolph M.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: 2009, 83(5), pp. 1150-1164.
The article describes a study that obtained data on elderly couples, and subsequently obtained additional data on 205 of the participants who had experienced the death of their spouse. The authors sought to identify patterns of grief at 6 and 18 months post-loss. The results of the study showed that nearly 46% of the bereaved showed a resilient pattern, with few symptoms of either depression or grief, that about 16% showed symptoms of chronic grief, and that about 10% showed a pattern of reduction in depression following the death. The authors identify a variety of factors that influenced grieving patterns. A poor quality of marriage pre-loss was associated with high levels of depression pre-loss and recovery following the death. High levels of dependency were associated with chronic grief and chronic depression. Resilience was associated with acceptance of death, belief in a just world, and higher levels of instrumental support.
Key Words: couple, resilience, depression, chronic, dependent, support
Service Provider Implications
Service providers may benefit from recognizing that there are a wide variety of grieving patterns. Specifically, resilience, which is characterized by an absence of grieving symptoms and an absence of depression, may be a common and healthy reaction to death for many individuals.