Boelen, P. A. & Klugkist, I. (2011). Cognitive behavioral variables mediate the associations of neuroticism and attachment insecurity with Prolonged Grief Disorder severity. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping.
Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) is a debilitating syndrome of grief. A recent cognitive behavioral model asserts that three processes are critical to this condition: (a) insufficient integration of the loss with autobiographical knowledge about the self and the lost person, (b) negative cognitions, and (c) anxious and depressive avoidance behaviors. These processes are assumed to contribute to PGD symptoms and to mediate the influence of personality-related vulnerabilities on the development and maintenance of these symptoms. The present study examined the mediational role of these three processes in the linkage between neuroticism, attachment anxiety, and attachment avoidance on the one hand and PGD symptom severity on the other hand. Self-reported data from 348 bereaved people were used. The results showed that the three personality variables were significantly associated with PGD symptom severity. Moreover, the results provided support for the mediating effects of indices of insufficient integration, negative cognitions, as well as avoidance behaviors-even after controlling for the shared variance between mediators. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.