Date: May 1990
Creator: Allen, Susan Elise
Description: The present longitudinal study examined the effects and interactions of several variables thought to affect adjustment to conjugal bereavement. Questionnaires were administered to 147 conjugally bereaved subjects and to 46 persons bereaved of close relatives other than spouse. Independent variables included experienced competence (self-esteem, locus of control, coping self-efficacy, and prior coping strategies), impact of loss (anticipation and preventabillty of loss, centrality of relationship and life change), and perceived resources. All of the independent variables were found to be important predictors of adjustment in conjugal bereavement. However, hypothesized interactions among variables were generally not found. Experimental variables were better predictors of adjustment in conjugal bereavement than were demographic variables. Contrary to prediction, widowed subjects tended to become more lonely and showed increased bereavement adjustment difficulties over a six month period of time. However, post hoc analysis suggested that levels of adjustment do not decline over the long term in widowhood. The present study supports a view of widowhood as a multidimensional event, characterized by seemingly contradictory feelings, experiences, and behaviors.
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