Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Surviving the loss of a child, a spouse, or both: Implications on life satisfaction and mortality in older ages
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4179-771X
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Losing a loved one – a child or a spouse –is described as one of the most stressful or negative experience of a person’s life. Aging is associated with a higher risk of the death of close family members, yet few studies have investigated the impact of such losses on different health outcomes either by type of loss or by the combined loss of both a child and a spouse. This thesis is based on three studies examining the effect of bereavement on the health of older adults who have lost a child, spouse, or both and whether the different losses were associated with Life Satisfaction (LS) or mortality. The sample was collected from the Swedish National Study of Aging and Care (SNAC).

The results showed that the loss of a child, spouse or both was experienced as among the three most important negative life events in the bereaved groups. About 70% of those bereaved of a child or a spouse mentioned these losses as among their three most important negative life experiences. In the child-and-spouse-bereaved group, 48% mentioned both losses while 40% mentioned only the loss of a child or a spouse, but not both. However, only marginally effects on LS and mortality after child, spouse or child-spouse bereavement in older adults was found. Longer time since the loss was associated with higher LS and lower mortality risk, and type of loss did not seem to determine LS or mortality. Gender differences were found: child-, spouse and child-and-spouse-bereaved men had lower LS than the corresponding groups of bereaved women, and furthermore, child-bereaved men had an increased mortality risk compared to child-bereaved women. Finally, significantly more women in the child-and-spouse-bereaved group compared to the men in this group, mentioned the loss of their child but not the spouse, among the three most important negative life events.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2016. , 96 p.
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations, 250/2016
Keyword [en]
negative life events, child and spouse loss, bereavement, older adults
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-52215Libris ID: 19437350ISBN: 978-91-88357-16-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-52215DiVA: diva2:922766
Public defence
2016-05-20, Wicksell, Hus K, Växjö, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-04-27 Created: 2016-04-25 Last updated: 2017-02-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Exploring the Most Important Negative Life Events in Older Adults Bereaved of Child, Spouse, or Both
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring the Most Important Negative Life Events in Older Adults Bereaved of Child, Spouse, or Both
2018 (English)In: Omega, ISSN 0030-2228, E-ISSN 1541-3764, Vol. 76, no 3, 227-236 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Losing a child or a spouse is described as the worst of experiences. However, it is not known whether older adults bereaved of a child, spouse, or both child and spouse experience these losses as among the most important negative events in their life- time. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the 1,437 older adults bereaved of a child, spouse, or both included in the southern part of the Swedish National Study of Aging and Care mentioned these losses when asked about their three most important negative life events. Gender differences in their choices of important negative life events were also explored. About 70% of those bereaved of a child or a spouse mentioned these losses as among their three most important negative life experiences. In the child-and-spouse-bereaved group, 48% mentioned both the loss of their child and spouse, while 40% mentioned either the loss of a child or a spouse. Gender differences were only found in the child-and-spouse-bereaved group, with a few more women mentioning the loss of the child but not the spouse, and the men showing the opposite pattern. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2018
Keyword
negative life events, child and spouse loss, bereavement, older adults
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-52677 (URN)10.1177/0030222816642453 (DOI)000418863000002 ()
Available from: 2016-05-26 Created: 2016-05-26 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
2. Effects on life satisfaction of older adults after child and spouse bereavement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects on life satisfaction of older adults after child and spouse bereavement
2017 (English)In: Aging & Mental Health, ISSN 1360-7863, E-ISSN 1364-6915, Vol. 21, no 6, 602-608 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Few studies have compared the impact of different familial losses on life satisfaction (LS). Furthermore, there is a lack of research on the effect of having lost both a child and a spouse among older adults. Sample: A random sample of 1402 individuals, 817 women and 585 men, aged 60–96 years from the Blekinge part of the Swedish National Study of Aging and Care (SNAC-B) participated in this cross-sectional study. Aims: The first aim was to compare the effects of child or spouse or both child and spouse bereavement on LS and, the second aim, to investigate if there were gender differences within the bereaved groups. Results: The results showed that having lost a child, spouse or both child and spouse had a negative association with LS, although this effect was small. Having experienced multiple losses did not predict more variance than a single child or spouse loss. Gender differences were found within all the bereaved groups with bereaved men having lower LS than bereaved women. Longer time since the loss was associated with higher LS. Conclusions: Bereaved older adults have somewhat lower LS than non-bereaved and bereaved men seem more affected than bereaved women. Future research needs to address older men´s experiences after the loss of a loved one.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2017
Keyword
Child and spouse bereavement, life satisfaction, older age
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-51482 (URN)10.1080/13607863.2015.1135874 (DOI)000400171200004 ()26768164 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2016-03-28 Created: 2016-03-28 Last updated: 2017-05-24Bibliographically approved
3. The Role of Neuroticism and Conscientiousness on Mortality Risk in Older Adults After Child and Spouse Bereavement
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Role of Neuroticism and Conscientiousness on Mortality Risk in Older Adults After Child and Spouse Bereavement
2016 (English)In: Aging & Mental Health, ISSN 1360-7863, E-ISSN 1364-6915, Vol. 20, no 6, 559-566 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: Bereavement effects on mortality risk were investigated in 1150 randomly selected participants, aged 60-104, in the Swedish National Study of Aging and Care.

Method: Cox proportional hazards models, controlling for age, gender, functional ability, the personality traits neuroticism and conscientiousness as well as time since the latest loss were used to predict mortality risk.

Results: Having lost a child, spouse or both child and spouse did not predict mortality risk. An indirect link between bereavement and mortality was found showing for each year since loss the mortality risk decreased by about 1%. Neuroticism, but not conscientiousness, was associated with mortality risk, with a small-effect size.

Conclusions: The different bereavements did not predict mortality risk while an indirect link was found showing that mortality risk decreased with time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2016
Keyword
loss/bereavement/life events, mortality risk, personality
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-42899 (URN)10.1080/13607863.2015.1031638 (DOI)000372119100001 ()25856539 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-84961212316 (Scopus ID)
External cooperation:
Available from: 2015-04-28 Created: 2015-04-28 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Anna Bratt, Doctoral Thesis (Kappa)(339 kB)459 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 339 kBChecksum SHA-512
a2b34136112a7de9ede2697d4d3f5348ea31cfd5fcd1cdd3a761f911e39bf713dd64cec8f45e36b9cb8f38900bc406ebbe7987e39ed8d9c9a33a9e22e3253bc8
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Buy Book (SEK 160 + VAT and postage) lnupress@lnu.se

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Bratt, Anna S.
By organisation
Department of Psychology
Applied Psychology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 459 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 1429 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf