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Title: Continuing bonds and difficulty adjusting to marital bereavement
Author: Bird, Lisa.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3465 0077
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2002
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Attachment theory (Bowlby, 1980) has been widely used within the bereavement literature to explain both healthy and disordered mourning. Traumatic Grief (Prigerson et al., 1999) and the Continuing Bonds hypothesis (Klass, Silverman & Nickman, 1996) are examined from an attachment perspective. In this review Traumatic Grief is seen as a form of disordered mourning characterised by separation distress and traumatic distress, including preoccupation with thoughts of the deceased, longing for and searching for the deceased. The Continuing Bonds hypothesis argues that remaining connected to the deceased enables the survivor to cope with the loss. This paper reviews the research, which led to the hypothesis of traumatic grief as a distinct grief-related disorder and outlines the role of attachment styles in its development. The mechanisms used by survivors to maintain a continued relationship with the deceased are outlined, including arguments that some forms of continuing bond are less adaptive than others. The paper concludes by suggesting that some form of continued attachment to the deceased is both inevitable and adaptive, but when it does not allow the survivor to reorganise their life in meaningful ways, this may be a sign of traumatic grief.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Clinical psychology