Boelen, P. A., & Spuij, M. (2008). Negative cognitions in loss-related emotional distress in adolescent girls: A preliminary study . Journal of Loss and Trauma, 13, 441-449.


A minority of adolescents confronted with loss develops symptoms of complicated grief, depression, and anxiety. Little is known about mechanisms causing such problems in this group. Cognitive behavioral theories of grief hypothesize that negative cognitions are pivotal in emotional problems after loss. The current preliminary study tested this hypothesis among 30 adolescent girls (13-18 years). Findings showed that different types of negative cognitions were significantly associated with complicated grief and depression severity. Global negative beliefs about life and the self and catastrophic misinterpretations of grief-reactions were most strongly linked with symptoms. Findings support cognitive behavioral theories of grief.