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Am J Orthopsychiatry. 1991 Jan;61(1):138-43.

The emotional phases of marital separation: an empirical investigation.

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  • 1Catholic University, Washington, D.C.


The emotional process of marital separation was investigated via the application of Bowlby's theory of loss. Physical separation was found to entail the three phases--wish to recover the lost object, disorganization, and reorganization--proposed by Bowlby. Length of time separated appeared the most powerful factor in emotional resolution. The clinical implications of the findings are discussed.

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