The authors have no conflicts of interest or financial support, including direct or indirect financial or personal relationships, interests, and affiliations relevant to the subject matter of the manuscript, to disclose.
COMPLICATED GRIEF AND BEREAVEMENT IN YOUNG ADULTS FOLLOWING CLOSE FRIEND AND SIBLING LOSS
Article first published online: 11 FEB 2013
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Depression and Anxiety
Volume 30, Issue 12, pages 1202–1210, December 2013
How to Cite
Herberman Mash, H. B., Fullerton, C. S. and Ursano, R. J. (2013), COMPLICATED GRIEF AND BEREAVEMENT IN YOUNG ADULTS FOLLOWING CLOSE FRIEND AND SIBLING LOSS. Depress. Anxiety, 30: 1202–1210. doi: 10.1002/da.22068
- Issue published online: 2 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 11 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 4 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 29 JAN 2012
- sibling loss;
- young adult loss
This study examined the association between types of loss (i.e., sibling or close friend) and relationship quality (i.e., depth and conflict) with complicated grief, depression, somatic symptoms, and world assumptions in bereaved young adults.
Participants were 107 young adults aged 17–29 years who were either bereaved or had never experienced a loss. Among bereaved participants, 66 lost a close friend and seven lost a sibling within the past 3 years (M = 1.63 years).
Nineteen percent of the young adults met criteria for complicated grief and 31% had mild to severe depression. Participants with a deceased sibling reported greater depth in the relationship as compared to those who lost a friend. They were also more likely to have complicated grief (57% versus 15%) and report significantly higher levels of grief, depression, and somatic symptoms. Those who lost a sibling reported a lower sense of meaningfulness and benevolence of the world and self-worth as compared with those who lost a close friend or had not experienced a loss.
Complicated grief and depression are common among bereaved young adults. Sibling loss is particularly distressing to young adults, due in part to the high level of relationship depth, and is associated with increased psychological and physical symptoms postloss.