Boelen, P. A., Bout, J. van den, & Hout, M. A. van den (2003). The role of negative interpretations of grief reactions in emotional problems after bereavement . Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 34, 225-238.
This study explored the role of negative interpretations of grief reactions in emotional problems after bereavement, with 234 individuals who had been confronted with the death of a close relative. It was found that negative interpretations of grief reactions were highly associated with the degree to which these reactions were experienced as distressing, the degree to which mourners engaged in avoidance behaviours and the severity of symptoms of traumatic grief and depression, even when controlling for the frequency of grief reactions and the influence of relevant background variables. Furthermore, behavioural and cognitive avoidance strategies were significantly related to the severity of traumatic grief and depression. Negative interpretations of grief reactions and rumination explained most variance in symptom severity, when controlling for the shared variance between the predictor variables. The results have implications for the treatment of emotional problems after bereavement.