Relationship of hope, coping styles, concurrent losses, and setting to grief resolution in the Elderly Widow(er)


  • Dr. Kaye Herth

    Corresponding author
    • School of Nursing, Northern Illinois University, 1240 Normal Road, DeKalb, IL 60115-2894
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    • Kaye Herth, PhD, RN, is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb.


This descriptive study was based on Dimond's Bereavement Adaptation Model; investigation was made of the relationship between hope, concurrent losses, coping style, setting (hospital, hospice, nursing home), and grief resolution. Seventy-five elderly persons who had been widowed 12–18 months completed the Herth Hope Scale, the Jalowiec Coping Scale, and the Grief Resolution Index by mail. A significant positive relationship was found between effective grief resolution and a high hope level; 0–1 concurrent losses; the use of confrontive, optimistic, palliative, supportant, and self-reliant coping styles; and the death of the spouse within a hospice setting. The importance of the type of setting, hope level, and specific coping styles on grief resolution in the elderly widow(er) is suggested by the findings.