Losses of all kinds are extremely common in the lives of older adults, with spousal bereavement being the most common (see Cavanaugh, 1990). Spousal loss is more common for women; over half of all women over age 65 are widows, compared to only 15% of men of the same age. Other types of losses—such as friends moving away or dying, loss of income through retirement, loss of physical health or one’s functional capabilities, and so on—are more common among older adults, although they occur less frequently in younger segments of the population as well. Note that, according to several prominent researchers in the field, loss of a child may be the most painful type of bereavement one can experience (Osterweis, Solomon, & Green, 1984), and loss of a spouse may be more difficult for younger than for older persons (Parkes, 1987).
KeywordsNegative Thought Veteran Affair Medical Hamilton Rate Scale Complicated Grief Grief Reaction
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