Parental grief responses and personals growth following the death of a child

Linda P. Riley, Lynda L. LaMontagne, Joseph T. Hepworth, Barbara A. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Conceptualizing parental grief as a psychosocial transition, this cross-sectional study of bereaved mothers (N = 35) examined the relationship of dispositional factors, grief reactions, and personal growth. More optimistic mothers reported less intense grief reactions and less distress indicative of complicated grief. Additionally, mothers who usually coped actively had less intense grief reactions. Mothers who habitually coped using positive reframing had less intense grief reactions and less complicated grief. Personal growth, a positive dimension of grief, was associated with all three coping dispositions; mothers' active coping, support seeking, and positive reframing suggesting more personal growth occurred in mothers exhibiting more of these coping dispositions. These findings increase understanding of dispositional factors associated with bereaved mothers' grief responses and expand knowledge concerning personal growth as an outcome of bereavement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-299
Number of pages23
JournalDeath Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology


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