Scott and White Grief Study--phase 2: toward an adaptive model of grief

Death Stud. Oct-Nov 2000;24(7):633-60. doi: 10.1080/07481180050132820.


The current study was a dual investigation focused both on the pathogenesis of grief responses and on factors associated with personal growth as a bereavement outcome in a heterogeneous sample of 85 mourners. To examine the pathogenesis of grief, the authors tested the ability of several high-risk factors to predict mourners' subsequent emotional intensity on 2 dependent measures: the Grief Experience Inventory and the Hogan Grief Reaction Checklist. Three situational variables (traumatic death, younger age of decedent, and perception of preventability) as well as 2 mourner liabilities (history of mental health treatment and greater number of other losses) were associated with higher subjective grief misery scores. When using personal growth as a positive outcome following bereavement, the authors identified 4 behavioral correlates of adaptive grieving: ability to see some good resulting from the death, having a chance to say goodbye, intrinsic spirituality, and spontaneous positive memories of the decedent. The advantages of an adaptive model of grief for generating treatment implications are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Bereavement*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Religion and Psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support