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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2012 Sep;200(9):801-6. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318266ba02.

Variables mediating the linkage between loss centrality and postloss psychopathology.

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  • 1Clinical and Health Psychology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.


Event centrality refers to the degree to which the memory of a negative life event is a core component of a person's identity. There is evidence that greater event centrality is associated with more intense psychopathology after different events, including the death of a loved one. This study sought to advance our understanding of the variables mediating the linkage between loss centrality and postloss psychopathology. Specifically, using multiple mediation analyses, we examined the role of a) intrusiveness of memories about the loss event, b) negative future cognitions and catastrophic misinterpretations of one's own grief reactions, and c) depressive avoidance and rumination in mediating the associations between loss centrality and postloss psychopathology. The outcomes showed that memory intrusiveness, the two cognitive variables, and the two behavioral strategies emerged as unique, independent mediators of the linkages between loss centrality and the indices of postloss psychopathology when controlling for the shared variance between the proposed mediators. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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