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Psychol Aging. 1991 Sep;6(3):434-41.

The effects of late-life spousal bereavement over a 30-month interval.

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Older Adult and Family Research and Resource Center, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Palo Alto, California 94304.


Self-report measures of grief, depression, and general psychopathology were studied in widows and widowers over a 2.5-year period following death of their partner. A comparison sample of men and women was also followed for the same period. Differences in severity of depression and psychopathology previously reported at 2 months postloss (Gallagher, Breckenridge, Thompson, & Peterson, 1983) diminished to nonsignificant levels at 12 and 30 months. However, significant differences between bereaved and comparison subjects on measures of grief were still apparent 30 months after spousal loss. A main effect of gender for depression and psychopathology (but not for grief) was found at 2 and 12 months: Women reported more distress than men regardless of bereavement status. Results indicate that the experience of grief persists for at least 30 months in both older men and women who have lost their spouse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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