Religion and spirituality in adjustment following bereavement: an integrative review

Death Stud. 2008;32(8):703-36. doi: 10.1080/07481180802289507.


Surprisingly little research has examined the widely held assumption that religion and spirituality are generally helpful in adjusting to bereavement. A systematic literature search located 73 empirical articles that examined religion/spirituality in the context of bereavement. The authors describe the multidimensional nature of religion/spirituality and use this framework to organize and integrate the findings of these empirical articles. Overall, results suggest that relations between religion and adjustment to bereavement are generally positive but inconsistent and vary depending in part on how religion/spirituality is measured. The authors conclude with a critique of the current research and directions for future research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Bereavement*
  • Humans
  • Religion*
  • Spirituality*