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Int J Aging Hum Dev. 1993;37(1):1-22.

Impact of elderly mother's death on middle age daughters.

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  • 1Philadelphia Geriatric Center, Pennsylvania.


Daughters' responses to an elderly mother's death are found to be multidimensional. In the first six months of bereavement many daughters experience themes of both holding on and letting go. Measured were depression, grief, somatic reactions, as well as impact on the sense of self, degree of acceptance of the death, and ways in which the tie with the mother endures. Though many of these reactions are intercorrelated, they are differentially associated with characteristics of the daughter, mother, and the quality of their relationship. Relatively sudden deaths were associated with more intense grief, less acceptance, and more thoughts of reunion than deaths that occurred in a nursing home.

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