The Centrality of a Loss and Its Role in Emotional Problems Among Bereaved People

Behav Res Ther. 2009 Jul;47(7):616-22. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2009.03.009. Epub 2009 Mar 27.


In literature on posttraumatic stress-disorder (PTSD) there is growing interest in the concept "centrality of event", referring to the degree to which the memory of a traumatic event is central to one's everyday inferences, life-story, and identity. Using self-reported data from 254 bereaved individuals, this study examined the centrality of the loss-event in emotional problems following loss. Findings showed that this centrality (a) varied as a function of kinship to the deceased but not other loss-related variables, (b) was correlated with complicated grief (CG), depression, PTSD, and with neuroticism and several cognitive-behavioural variables, and (c) remained correlated with CG but not depression and PTSD when controlling for the shared variance between these symptoms, neuroticism, and these cognitive-behavioural variables.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology*
  • Bereavement*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Grief
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology