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New Study Looks at Grieving in the Elderly

 

New Study Looks at Grieving in the Elderly

A new study by Professor George A. Bonanno, and colleagues from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor found that many older adults remain emotionally stable after the loss of a spouse. The study will be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Though clinicians and society often see bereaved adults who recover quickly as pathological or maladjusted, Bonanno says it may be healthier to spend less time mourning the loss of one's spouse. The study also found that some bereaved individuals may actually become worse during grief counseling because it interferes with their natural coping skills.

The study says, "We found no evidence in our analyses to support the widely held assumption that the resilient group was actually comprised of maladjusted individuals. Offering treatment to individuals who are coping effectively is not likely to be helpful and might produce some harm by causing them to focus on issues they had already dealt with or by undermining their natural coping strategies."

The article, entitled "Resilience and Loss" was released by the Office of External Affairs.

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