Influences on grief among parentally bereaved adults

Kellye S. Carver, Bert Hayslip, Angela Gilley, Justin Watts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Although the parent-child relationship is significant throughout life, many changes occur as children grow, particularly during young adulthood. Parental loss and resulting grief during adulthood is likely influenced by many variables, including age, gender, relationship quality, and sex roles. In the present study, parentally bereaved adults completed measures assessing parental involvement, personal grief and adjustment, and sex role preferences. Analyses of covariance indicated that gender of the bereaved child was significant in predicting some aspects of grief, wherein females were more strongly impacted by the loss of a parent, irrespective of that parent's sex. However, the interaction of sex of parent and sex of child was also significant, suggesting that maternal loss may be particularly difficult for daughters. Results suggested that women may have a stronger emotional experience of grief and maintain closer bonds with a deceased mother. This may result from deeper emotional connections, feeling excluded by age peers, or vulnerability for rumination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-116
Number of pages12
JournalOmega (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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