A Review of Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives on Marital Satisfaction and Bereavement Outcomes: Implications for Working with Older Adults
The later years of one's life can contain many losses, perhaps none as prominent as the loss of one's spouse. Bereavement can be a life-changing loss, but the nature of that change can range from despair and depression to personal growth and resiliency. One factor that can play a role in bereavement outcomes is the quality of the lost relationship. It does not appear that the relationship between marital satisfaction and bereavement outcomes is as clear-cut as poor relationships leading to poor outcomes or vice-versa, however. Rather, multiple factors related to relationship dynamics, attachment style, and dependency may influence bereavement trajectories. In addition, marital satisfaction may interact with other factors including pre-loss psychological health and personality characteristics to influence outcomes. Similar factors may also influence the bereaved individual's post-loss assessment of the relationship, leading to idealization of the lost spouse and making clini vement and/or the need for intervention. © 2012 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Itzhar-Nabarro, Z; Smoski, MJ
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