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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2007 Jan;195(1):26-30.

Parental control, partner dependency, and complicated grief among widowed adults in the community.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York, and Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

Data from the Yale Bereavement Study, a community-based longitudinal study, were used to investigate the association of 192 widowed individuals' recollections of parenting affection and control during childhood with dependency on the deceased spouse and the development of severe grief symptoms following bereavement. The hypothesis that dependency on the deceased spouse mediates the association of parental affection and control during childhood with the development of severe grief following bereavement was investigated. Findings indicated that a high level of perceived parental control during childhood was associated with elevated levels of dependency on the deceased spouse and with symptoms of complicated grief. Dependency on the deceased spouse mediated the association of perceived parental control with the development of complicated grief following bereavement.

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