Influences on Grief Among Parentally Bereaved Adults

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The parent-child relationship is significant throughout the life course, although both positive and negative changes occur as children reach adulthood and develop an identity independent of their family of origin. Grief resulting from parental loss during this time may be a product of many variables including age, relationship quality, and sex roles. The current study examined several variables potentially influencing grief after the death of a parent. As part of a larger study, adults (n = 180) completed measures assessing parental involvement, personal grief and adjustment, as well as sex role preferences. The archival data were subjected to analyses of ... continued below

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Schiffner, Kellye D. August 2011.

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  • Schiffner, Kellye D.

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The parent-child relationship is significant throughout the life course, although both positive and negative changes occur as children reach adulthood and develop an identity independent of their family of origin. Grief resulting from parental loss during this time may be a product of many variables including age, relationship quality, and sex roles. The current study examined several variables potentially influencing grief after the death of a parent. As part of a larger study, adults (n = 180) completed measures assessing parental involvement, personal grief and adjustment, as well as sex role preferences. The archival data were subjected to analyses of covariance, taking into account time since the death and children’s sex role preferences (traditional or egalitarian). Female sex of the child was significant in predicting several aspects of grief, suggesting that women have a stronger emotional experience of grief. This may be a result of young women’s stronger emotional bonds with parents when compared to men, feelings of exclusion from college peers during bereavement, or vulnerability for rumination. Sex role preferences were also influential in several aspects of grief. Sex of the parent was not significant, although the interaction for sex of the parent and sex of the child was, suggesting that for daughters, the loss of a mother may be particularly difficult. Results suggest that women may express more intense emotions as part of the grief process and maintain stronger bonds with the deceased, although this likely depends heavily on cultural, familial, and religious contexts, as well as cause of death.

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  • August 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 17, 2012, 9:47 p.m.

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  • Jan. 16, 2014, 3:32 p.m.

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Schiffner, Kellye D. Influences on Grief Among Parentally Bereaved Adults, thesis, August 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84272/: accessed October 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .