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Grief, Bereavement, and Coping With Loss (PDQ®): Supportive care - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Risk Factors for Complicated Grief and Other Negative Bereavement Outcomes

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Interpersonal Context: Social Support

Social support is a highly complex construct, consisting of a variety of components (perceived availability, social networks, supportive climate/environment, support seeking) and measured in a variety of ways. However, as mentioned above, lack of social support is a risk factor for negative bereavement outcomes: It is both a general risk factor for negative health outcomes and a bereavement-specific risk factor for negative outcomes after loss.[2] For example, after the death of a close family member (e.g., spouse), many persons report a number of related losses (often unanticipated) such as the loss of income, lifestyle, and daily routine—all important aspects of social support.

References:

  1. Tomarken A, Holland J, Schachter S, et al.: Factors of complicated grief pre-death in caregivers of cancer patients. Psychooncology 17 (2): 105-11, 2008.
  2. Stroebe W, Schut H: Risk factors in bereavement outcome: a methodological and empirical review. In: Stroebe MS, Hansson RO, Stroebe W, et al., eds.: Handbook of Bereavement Research: Consequences, Coping, and Care. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2001, 349-71.
  3. Bowlby J: Attachment and Loss. Volume III: Loss: Sadness and Depression. New York, NY: Basic Books, Inc., 1980.
  4. Parkes CM, Weiss RS: Recovery from Bereavement. New York, NY: Basic Books, 1983.
  5. van Doorn C, Kasl SV, Beery LC, et al.: The influence of marital quality and attachment styles on traumatic grief and depressive symptoms. J Nerv Ment Dis 186 (9): 566-73, 1998.
  6. Nolen-Hoeksema S, McBride A, Larson J: Rumination and psychological distress among bereaved partners. J Pers Soc Psychol 72 (4): 855-62, 1997.
  7. Shuchter SR, Zisook S: The course of normal grief. In: Stroebe MS, Stroebe W, Hansson RO, eds.: Handbook of Bereavement: Theory, Research, and Intervention. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp 23-43.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: September 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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