Suicide bereavement and recovery patterns compared with nonsuicide bereavement patterns

Suicide Life Threat Behav. Spring 1990;20(1):1-15.


This study compared bereavement experiences of suicide survivors with those of other survivors. The primary focus of investigation was upon grief reactions suggested to be unique to suicide bereavement and upon quality of grief resolution 2-4 years after death. Fifty-seven women and men, between the ages of 24 and 48, who had experienced the death of a marital partner were interviewed. Subjects were assigned to one of four groups by mode of death (suicide, accident, unanticipated natural, and expected natural). Analyses of variance and Scheffe procedures indicated no significant differences among survivors on frequencies of grief reactions considered common to all bereavements. The suicide survivors were significantly different from all others on certain grief measures, including rejection and unique grief reactions. On various other grief measures, significant differences were indicated among the groups of survivors. Four primary conclusions, implications of the findings, and limitations of the study are discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Grief*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Personality Tests
  • Single Person / psychology*
  • Suicide / psychology*