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Complicated Grief in the Aftermath of Homicide: Spiritual Crisis and Distress in an African American Sample
Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, 38152, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 May 2011; in revised form: 23 May 2011 / Accepted: 3 June 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
Abstract: Both grieving the loss of a loved one and using spirituality or religion as an aid in doing so are common behaviors in the wake of death. This longitudinal examination of 46 African American homicide survivors follows up on our earlier study that established the relation between positive and negative religious coping on the one hand and complicated grief (CG) on the other. In the current report, we broadened this focus to determine the relation between religious coping and other bereavement outcomes, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, to establish whether religious coping more strongly predicted bereavement distress or vice versa. We also sought to determine if the predictive power of CG in terms of religious coping over time exceeded that of PTSD and depression. Our results suggested a link between negative religious coping (NRC) and all forms of bereavement distress, whereas no such link was found between positive religious coping (PRC) and bereavement outcomes in our final analyses. Significantly, only CG prospectively predicted high levels of spiritual struggle six months later. Clinical implications regarding spiritually sensitive interventions are noted.
Keywords: religious coping; religious struggle; spiritual crisis; bereavement; complicated grief; PTSD; depression; African American; homicide
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Neimeyer, R.A.; Burke, L.A. Complicated Grief in the Aftermath of Homicide: Spiritual Crisis and Distress in an African American Sample. Religions 2011, 2, 145-164.
Neimeyer RA, Burke LA. Complicated Grief in the Aftermath of Homicide: Spiritual Crisis and Distress in an African American Sample. Religions. 2011; 2(2):145-164.
Neimeyer, Robert A.; Burke, Laurie A. 2011. "Complicated Grief in the Aftermath of Homicide: Spiritual Crisis and Distress in an African American Sample." Religions 2, no. 2: 145-164.