Coping With Spousal Loss: Potential Buffering Effects of Self-Reported Helping Behavior

@article{Brown2008CopingWS,
  title={Coping With Spousal Loss: Potential Buffering Effects of Self-Reported Helping Behavior},
  author={Stephanie L. Brown and R. Michael Brown and James S. House and Dylan M. Smith},
  journal={Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin},
  year={2008},
  volume={34},
  pages={849 - 861}
}
The present study examined the role of self-reported helping behavior in attenuating the helper's depression following spousal loss. Using archival data from the Changing Lives of Older Couples sample (N = 289), the study shows that among bereaved participants who had experienced high loss-related grief, helping behavior (providing instrumental support to others) was associated with an accelerated decline in depressive symptoms for the helper from 6 months to 18 months following spousal loss… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Effects of Social Support and Volunteering on Depression Among Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

It is revealed that perceived quality of relations may help grandparent caregivers cope with their ongoing stress and enlarged social interaction may buffer the increase of negative stressor outcomes.

IS IT HELPFUL TO HELP OTHERS WHILE GRIEVING?

Introduction: In the current study, we assessed self-reported and behavioral measures of support provided to others and examined their longitudinal relationship to grief and depression symptoms.

Moderators in the relationship between social contact and psychological distress among widowed adults

Frequency of contact did not have a significant influence on psychological distress when contextual factors are controlled, but social support and the incongruence between preferred and actual social contact were significantly associated with decreased psychological distress for several outcomes.

Recovering from spousal bereavement in later life: does volunteer participation play a role?

  • Yunqing Li
  • Psychology
    The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences
  • 2007
Compared with their continually married counterparts, people who experienced spousal loss reported greater likelihood of pursuing volunteer roles, not immediately but a few years after the death of their spouse, highlighting the compensatory function of volunteer participation that helps to offset the negative impact of widowhood on well-being in later life.

The multidimensional nature of social support and engagement in contributing to adjustment following spousal loss

Examination of changes in mental health and well-being following spousal loss and which facets of social support and engagement are associated with positive adjustment found instrumental support received was the most beneficial facet of socialSupport and engagement.

“We Feel Good”: Daily Support Provision, Health Behavior, and Well-Being in Romantic Couples

The present findings suggest that the provision of daily social support in couples is strongly associated with enhanced well-being not only at a personal level but also at a relational level.

Felt obligation to help others as a protective factor against losses in psychological well-being following functional decline in middle and later life.

  • E. Greenfield
  • Psychology
    The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences
  • 2009
The importance for additional research on how aspects of altruism can promote psychological adaptation to declining functional health in middle and later life is suggested.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 57 REFERENCES

The role of loneliness and social support in adjustment to loss: a test of attachment versus stress theory.

A longitudinal study of a matched sample of 60 recently widowed and 60 married men and women tested predictions from stress and attachment theory regarding the role of social support in adjustment to bereavement, and results clearly supported attachment theory.

Does social support help in bereavement

A review of studies on the role of social support as a moderator of bereavement outcome indicates that there is limited evidence for the widely held assumption that social support buffers the

Providing Social Support May Be More Beneficial Than Receiving It

Results from logistic regression analyses indicated that mortality was significantly reduced for individuals who reported providing instrumental support to friends, relatives, and neighbors, and individuals who report providing emotional support to their spouse.

Helping others helps oneself: response shift effects in peer support.

Bereavement and health: The psychological and physical consequences of partner loss.

Preface 1. Introduction 2. The symptomatology of grief 3. Is grief universal? cultural variations in the emotional reactions to loss 4. Depression models of grief 5. Stress models of grief 6.

Identifying Elderly with Coping Difficulties after Two Years of Bereavement

This study answers three research questions. First, what proportion of the elderly are experiencing major coping difficulties after two years of bereavement? Second, what factors in early bereavement

Caregiver depression after bereavement: chronic stress isn't over when it's over.

Bereaved and continuing caregivers did not differ on syndromal depression or depressive symptoms; both groups were significantly more depressed than controls; those caregivers who ruminated more about caregiving after bereavement reported more depression, greater stress, and greater social isolation.

Marital quality and psychological adjustment to widowhood among older adults: a longitudinal analysis.

The findings contradict the widespread belief that grief is more severe if the marriage was conflicted and suggest a more complex relationship between bereavement and characteristics of the marriage.

Retrospective assessment of marital adjustment and depression during the first 2 years of spousal bereavement.

Two hundred twelve bereaved elders rated marital adjustment using items drawn from the Locke and Wallace (1959) Marital Adjustment Test and completed the Beck Depression Inventory 2 months, 12 months, and 30 months after the loss of their spouses to discuss cognitive processes that influence retrospective assessments of marital adjustment during bereavement.
...