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Sastry's 10-year study of New Orleans Katrina evacuees shows demographic differences between returning and nonreturning

Stafford says less educated, smaller investors more likely to sell off stock and lock in losses during market downturn

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Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research

Elizabeth Bruch wins Robert Merton Prize for paper in analytic sociology

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 12
Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

Coping with spousal loss: Potential buffering effects of self-reported helping behavior

Publication Abstract

Brown, S.L., Roger L. Brown, James S. House, and D.M. Smith. 2008. "Coping with spousal loss: Potential buffering effects of self-reported helping behavior." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(6): 849-861.

The present study examined the role of self-reported helping behavior in attenuating the helper's depression following spousal loss. Using archival data from the Changing Lives of Older Couples sample ( N = 289), the study shows that among bereaved participants who had experienced high loss-related grief, helping behavior ( providing instrumental support to others) was associated with an accelerated decline in depressive symptoms for the helper from 6 months to 18 months following spousal loss. This relationship between giving help and recovery from depression was independent of support received, as well as measured health, and interpersonal and demographic factors. Implications of these results for theoretical approaches to the study of close relationships and well-being are discussed.

DOI:10.1177/0146167208314972 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States of America.

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