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October 2021

The dual process model of coping with bereavement: Rationale and description

Author(s): Schut, H.

Journal/Book: Death Stud. 1999; 23: 1900 Frost Road, Suite 101, Bristol, PA 19007-1598, USA. Hemisphere Publ Corp. 197-224.

Abstract: There are shortcomings in traditional theorizing about effective ways of coping with bereavement, most notably, with respect to the so-called ''grief work hypothesis.'' Criticisms include imprecise definition,failure to represent dynamic Processing that is characteristic of grieving, lack of empirical evidence and validation across cultures and historical periods, and a limited focus on intrapersonal processes and on health outcomes. Therefore, a revised model of coping with bereavement, the dual process model, is proposed this model identifies two types of stressors, loss- and restoration-oriented, and a dynamic, regulatory coping process of oscillation, whereby the grieving individual at times confronts, at other times avoids, the different tasks of grieving. This model proposes that adaptive coping is composed of confrontation - avoidance of loss and restoration stressors. It also argues the need for dosage of grieving, that is, the need to take respite from dealing with either of these stressors, as an integral part of adaptive coping. Empirical research to support this conceptualization is discussed, and the model's relevance to the examination of complicated grief, analysis of subgroup phenomena, as well as interpersonal coping processes, is described.

Note: Article Stroebe M, Univ Utrecht, Res Inst Psychol & Hlth, Ctr Bereavement Res & Intervent, POB 80140, NL-3508 TC Utrecht, NETHERLANDS


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