Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

People who have never lost a loved one perceive bereavement as far more devastating than someone who has suffered a previous loss

Date:
April 17, 2013
Source:
University of Haifa
Summary:
People who have never suffered the loss of a loved one tend to believe that the bereavement process has a far more destructive and devastating effect on a person compared to those who have actually suffered such a loss in the past.

People who have never suffered the loss of a loved one tend to believe that the bereavement process has a far more destructive and devastating effect on a person compared to those who have actually suffered such a loss in the past, according to a new study by the University of Haifa's International Center for the Study of Loss, Bereavement and Human Resilience.

The study was presented on April 10 at a conference organized by the Center entitled "Memorial Days and Other Days."

"Loss is a personal experience, but it's also a social and cultural one," says Prof. Shimshon Rubin, who heads the Center and was one of the study's authors. "The way society relates to people who have suffered a loss is critical to the way the grieving process is managed, because the social component is very important in coping with bereavement."

The study, which was conducted with psychologists Hagar Tehelet-Rubinov and Maya Halevi, questioned more than 200 men and women of different ages, a portion of whom had suffered loss or trauma in the past. Participants filled out a variety of questionnaires that included stories of people who had suffered different types of trauma or loss. The participants were asked to rank the severity of that person's situation based on the way he coped with the painful event he had experienced.

The study found that events that happen to a loved one are perceived by society as causing a greater and more negative change in one's life than suffering a personal trauma; Losing a loved one was ranked as a greater emotional difficulty that has a more negative impact on one's life than suffering a personal trauma, such as a road accident in which the person himself was involved.

Participants also said that an interpersonal trauma - an accident in which a relative was involved and remained alive - was perceived as more difficult and having more impact than a personal trauma.

According to Prof. Rubin, what was surprising was that most of the study participants didn't ascribe any importance to the length of time that had passed since the loss occurred - in other words, whether the loss had occurred 18 months earlier or five years earlier, participants said the emotional impact and the assistance the bereaved requires don't change.

"From studies we've conducted on people that suffered personal losses, we found that the length of time it takes for them to return to a regular routine is about five years, thus the fact that society doesn't ascribe importance to the passage of time is very significant," said Prof. Rubin.

According to Prof. Rubin, although the results testify to society's sympathy toward the bereaved, there are still layers of coping with loss that must be understood.

"The bereaved are seeking meaning in the life of the deceased and in the personal relationship they had with him," Prof. Rubin explained. "Today the environment is very sensitive to the personal suffering and the concern with the meaning of life that the bereaved person himself feels after a loss. But we tend not to ascribe enough importance to the bereaved person's need to find meaning in the life of the deceased. Finding meaning in the life of those who have died is a very important component in enabling the bereaved to better adjust to their loss."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Haifa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Haifa. "People who have never lost a loved one perceive bereavement as far more devastating than someone who has suffered a previous loss." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130417091737.htm>.
University of Haifa. (2013, April 17). People who have never lost a loved one perceive bereavement as far more devastating than someone who has suffered a previous loss. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130417091737.htm
University of Haifa. "People who have never lost a loved one perceive bereavement as far more devastating than someone who has suffered a previous loss." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130417091737.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins