Adolescent ritual participation and perception and post-loss grief adjustment: An exploratory investigation

Laura Lynne Mathews, Purdue University

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to investigate funeral-related variables such as attitudes toward funerals, meaningfulness of the funeral, mourning behaviors, post-funeral ritual participation, and satisfaction with the funeral in predicting bereaved middle adolescents' personal growth and negative grief. Variables including death expectedness and closeness to the deceased were also considered. Results from this investigation suggest that there is a significant positive relationship between middle adolescents' perceived meaningfulness of the funeral and personal growth. A positive relationship was noted among middle adolescents' attitudes toward the funeral industry and their personal growth. Regarding negative grief, results suggest that there is a positive relationship between middle adolescents' participation in mourning behaviors and negative grief. A positive relationship was found between closeness to the deceased and negative grief, as well as death unexpectedness and negative grief. These results are discussed in terms of funeral education and assessment of middle adolescents' funeral needs. Results are also discussed with regard to assessing middle adolescents' perceived closeness to the deceased, perceived death expectedness, and increased focus on mourning behaviors deemed most helpful by middle adolescents. ^

Degree

Ph.D.

Advisors

Major Professor: Heather L. Servaty-Seib, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Education, Guidance and Counseling|Psychology, Clinical

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