Boelen, P. A., & Bout, J. van den (2003). Gender differences in traumatic grief symptom severity after the loss of a spouse . Omega - Journal of Death and Dying, 46, 183-198.


Gender differences in bereavement outcome have received much attention in bereavement research in the past decades. While many studies have focused on depressive symptomatology and/or normal grief reactions, little attention has been paid to gender differences in symptoms of pathological or traumatic grief (TG). In addition, few studies have investigated gender differences beyond the acute grieving period. In the present study, cross-sectional data were used to explore gender differences in the temporal course of TG symptomatology. Data were derived from 270 spousally bereaved individuals who filled in the Inventory of Traumatic Grief on the Internet. Analyses of variance were conducted to explore differences in TG symptoms over time and between widows and widowers. No differences were found between men and women on the TG symptoms or the TG summary score, on any of the observational time points. With regard to the temporal course of TG symptomatology, indications were found that symptoms of separation distress are likely to subside over the passage of time, while symptoms of traumatic distress are unlikely to do so.