Resilience to loss in bereaved spouses, bereaved parents, and bereaved gay men

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2005 May;88(5):827-43. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.88.5.827.


Recent research has indicated that many people faced with highly aversive events suffer only minor, transient disruptions in functioning and retain a capacity for positive affect and experiences. This article reports 2 studies that replicate and extend these findings among bereaved parents, spouses, and caregivers of a chronically ill life partner using a range of self-report and objective measures of adjustment. Resilience was evidenced in half of each bereaved sample when compared with matched, nonbereaved counterparts and 36% of the caregiver sample in a more conservative, repeated-measures ipsative comparison. Resilient individuals were not distinguished by the quality of their relationship with spouse/partner or caregiver burden but were rated more positively and as better adjusted by close friends.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Bereavement*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Spouses / psychology*