Restoration-oriented stressors of bereavement

Maarten C. Eisma*, Thomas A. de Lang, Margaret S. Stroebe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background and objectives: The Dual Process Model of Coping with Bereavement holds that bereaved people who respond flexibly to loss-oriented stressors (i.e., relating to the loss; to the deceased person) and restoration-oriented stressors (i.e., secondary to loss; daily-life changes, taking on new roles) adapt better to bereavement. Despite growing interest in the Dual Process Model, systematic analyses of the prevalence, characteristics, and correlates of restoration-oriented stressors are lacking. Therefore, we aimed to chart restoration-oriented stressors and their relationship with post-loss adaptation. Design and methods: A community sample of 181 bereaved adults (63% women) completed the 20-item expert-construed Restoration-Oriented Stressors Inventory (ROSI) and questionnaires assessing background characteristics, worry, and prolonged grief and depression symptoms. Results: Main findings were that younger people, and those who lost a parent, partner, or child (vs. other relationship) experienced more restoration-oriented stressors and appraised these as more stressful. Stressors’ perceived stressfulness, but not their quantity, related positively to worry. Perceived stressfulness predicted prolonged grief and depression symptoms beyond background characteristics, worry, and the number of stressors. Conclusion: Restoration-oriented stressors and their appraisal vary and relate to coping and post-loss mental health. Future research should clarify temporal interrelations between stressors, coping mechanisms, and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-353
Number of pages15
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Volume35
Issue number3
Early online date31-Jul-2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • complicated grief
  • Dual Process Model
  • life changes
  • restoration-orientation
  • secondary stressors
  • worry

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