An examination of the early impact of bereavement on psychological distress in survivors of suicide.

The Gerontologist (Impact Factor: 3.21). 11/1987; 27(5):592-8. DOI: 10.1093/geront/27.5.592
Source: PubMed
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    • "Research has shown that suicide bereavement is unique and different than bereavement after a natural death (Jordon, 2001). For example, some studies have shown higher levels of anxiety among family members grieving a death by suicide when compared to a natural or accidental death (Farberow et al., 1987). Other findings have demonstrated that when a student commits suicide, there is a strong emotional reaction among friends and fellow students, especially with those who were already depressed or who were already contemplating suicide (Brent et al., 1989). "
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    ABSTRACT: In what way is the bereavement process following suicide different from other types of bereavement? The participants were 30 survivors of suicide and 30 survivors of car accidents who were interviewed twice at an average of six months, and the second measure was taken at an average of nine months after the death, with standardized questionnaires to measure depression and grief reaction. Measures of shame, social support, family adaptation, psychological distress, and prior losses were also obtained during the second interview. All survivors were parents who had lost a son aged between 18 and 35 years. The results indicate that suicide survivors were more depressed than accident survivors at the first measure but this difference disappeared at the second measure. Survivors of suicide experienced greater feelings of shame and had experienced more life events after the death than did accident survivors. There was also a greater history of loss in parents bereaved by suicide. Parental bereavement after suicide appears to differ in several ways from other types of bereavement and appears to happen more often in vulnerable families.
    Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 02/1995; 25(4):489-92. DOI:10.1111/j.1943-278X.1995.tb00241.x · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study explored the role of mode and unexpectedness of death, age, race, and marital status on psychological symptoms for widows approximately 6 months after their husbands' deaths. Midwestern samples were drawn from death/divorce records for 276 Black and White women aged 19-74 whose husbands had died from homicide, suicide, or accidental death; 276 matched natural death widows; 188 separated/divorced women. Mode of death was not related to psychological symptoms. Contrary to expectation, widows of the men who had died from long-term natural illnesses exhibited more distress than widows of men who had died from violent and sudden, natural deaths combined. Indicative of their heightened overall symptoms, widows were more distressed than divorced women. Middle-aged and younger widows were more distressed than older ones. White widows reported more symptoms than Blacks in violent but not natural deaths. Black widows whose spouses had died from suicide had higher psychological distress on some indicators, supporting the greater stigma of suicide among Black persons. Results of smaller studies on the minimal role of mode of death in bereavement are supported, but more research on age, race, and "off-time" deaths in short- and long-term adjustment is needed.
    The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 12/2000; 55(6):S341-51. DOI:10.1093/geronb/55.6.S341 · 2.85 Impact Factor
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