People Who Have Never Lost a Loved One Perceive Bereavement as Far More Devastating Than Someone Who Has Suffered a Previous Loss

People who have never suffered the loss of a loved one tend to believe that the bereavement process has a far more destructive and devastating effect on a person compared to those who have actually suffered such a loss in the past, according to a new study by the University of Haifa’s International Center for the Study of Loss, Bereavement and Human Resilience.

The study was presented on April 10 at a conference organized by the Center entitled “Memorial Days and Other Days.”

“Loss is a personal experience, but it’s also a social and cultural one,” says Prof. Shimshon Rubin, who heads the Center and was one of the study’s authors. “The way society relates to people who have suffered a loss is critical to the way the grieving process is managed, because the social component is very important in coping with bereavement.”

The study, which was conducted with psychologists Hagar Tehelet-Rubinov and Maya Halevi, questioned more than 200 men and women of different ages, a portion of whom had suffered loss or trauma in the past. Participants filled out a variety of questionnaires that included stories of people who had suffered different types of trauma or loss. The participants were asked to rank the severity of that person’s situation based on the way he coped with the painful event he had experienced.

Full story of emotional loss at Science Daily

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