Coping flexibility, forward focus and trauma focus in older widows and widowers

Lindsey M. Knowles, Mary-Frances O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abstract: Coping strategies play a significant role in overall adjustment to bereavement, and recent emphasis has been placed on flexibility in coping versus unilateral strategies that are seemingly beneficial or maladaptive. The Dual Process Model of coping informed the conceptualisation of coping flexibility as the oscillation between ‘trauma focus’ and ‘forward focus’ coping strategies. The primary aim of the present study was to assess whether trauma focus and forward focus coping strategies, and using strategies from both flexibly, would predict grief severity. Trauma focus and forward focus were assessed using the Perceived Ability to Cope with Trauma (PACT) scale, measured cross-sectionally in older widows and widowers. In addition, we modeled symptoms of loneliness, yearning and perceived stress from PACT scale scores. Results showed that greater forward focus and coping flexibility predicted lower grief severity, and also predicted lower yearning, loneliness, and perceived stress. Additionally, length of time that participants were bereaved moderated the relationships of forward focus coping and coping flexibility to grief symptoms, such that having greater forward focused coping and coping flexibility matter the most early in bereavement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalBereavement Care
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015

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widower
Widowhood
widow
trauma
coping
flexibility
Grief
Wounds and Injuries
Bereavement
Loneliness
Aptitude
grief
Social Adjustment
ability

Keywords

  • aging
  • bereavement
  • complicated grief
  • coping
  • grief
  • widow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Gerontology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Coping flexibility, forward focus and trauma focus in older widows and widowers. / Knowles, Lindsey M.; O'Connor, Mary-Frances.

In: Bereavement Care, Vol. 34, No. 1, 02.01.2015, p. 17-23.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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