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PSY 200 PU Changes to Be Explored if The Study Is Replicated Questions

PSY 200 PU Changes to Be Explored if The Study Is Replicated Questions


1. Who were the investigators, and what was the aim of the study? When parents experience the loss of a child, they must cope with two main things: how to deal with the worst thing imaginable with the death of the child and how do deal with each other. Surprisingly, little research has been done to examine how partners work through the grieving process alone and together. Stroebe and colleagues (2013) wanted to know how each partner regulates or tries to protect the other from the pain of the loss and from his or her own grief.

How did the investigators measure the topic of interest? The researchers administered the Dutch version of the Inventory of Complicated Grief, items that measured partner-oriented self-regulation (POSR; such as “I stay strong for my partner”), and items that assessed expressions of concern for one’s partner.

Who were the participants in the study? Participants were 463 Dutch couples who had lost a child and were invited to participate. Parents who also were grandparents and single parents were excluded. A total of 219 couples agreed to participate. Their age range was 26 to 68 years, the causes of death of the children were varied, and roughly two thirds of the children were male.

What was the design of the study? The study used a longitudinal design with three times of measurement (6, 13, and 20 months after the death of the child).

Were there ethical concerns in the study? There were no ethical concerns, as participants were carefully screened, were provided detailed information about the nature of the project, and were given the opportunity to stop their participation at any time.

What were the results? Several findings are noteworthy. First, grief lessened over time for both partners, with a recognition that grief was always greater for women than for men. Higher levels of POSR mattered; individuals whose partner reported more POSR experienced more grief themselves, as did their partner. These relations held over time. Expressions of concern for the partner showed the opposite—more expressions of concern were related to lower levels of grief in the partner being targeted by those expressions.

What did the investigators conclude? The researchers argued that behaviors intended to show that one is strong for one’s partner are actually unhelpful in lowering the experience of grief. On the other hand, one partner who expresses grief and concern about his or her partner can be helpful in the couple’s and the individuals’ coping with grief.

What converging evidence would strengthen these conclusions? Because the study included only Dutch couples, more diverse samples would be beneficial. Also, more analyses on the cause of death and the age of the child at death may provide additional insightful information.

The research by Stroebe and colleagues (2013) examines the under-explored area of how people grieve when:

a. a parent dies suddenly and without warning. 

b. they experience the loss of a child.  

c. they go through a divorce after at least ten years of marriage. 

d. an adult sibling passes away. 

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