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Psychological Adjustment to Sudden and Anticipated Spousal Death Among the Older Widowed Persons

Publication Abstract

Carr, Deborah, James S. House, Camille Wortman, Randolph M. Nesse, and Ronald C. Kessler. 2001. "Psychological Adjustment to Sudden and Anticipated Spousal Death Among the Older Widowed Persons." Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 56B(4): S237-48.

A study examined if older adults' psychological adjustment to widowhood varies based on whether the death was sudden or anticipated and if these effects are mediated by death context characteristics (for example, predeath caregiving, nursing home use, spouse's age at death, and couple's communication about the death). The findings call into question the widespread belief that grief is more severe if death is sudden and suggest a more complex relationship between bereavement and circumstances of spousal death.

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