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“Let’s Talk About It”: The Moderating Role of Self-Disclosure on Complicated Grief over Time among Suicide Survivors

by Yossi Levi-Belz 1,2,* and Lilac Lev-Ari 1,2
1
Department of Behavioral Sciences, Ruppin Academic Center, Emek Hefer 40250, Israel
2
The Lior Tsfaty Center for Suicide and Mental Pain Studies, Ruppin Academic Center, Emek Hefer 40250, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3740; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193740
Received: 15 August 2019 / Revised: 30 September 2019 / Accepted: 1 October 2019 / Published: 4 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide: Prevention, Intervention and Postvention)
Suicide often imparts highly stressful ramifications to those left behind. Previous research on suicide survivors (SUSs) has demonstrated their being at high risk for developing anxiety and depression, including pathological complicated grief (CG). Self-disclosure (S-D)––the tendency to share one’s personal feelings––has been found to be an important component of dealing with grief. In this study, we examined the effect of S-D on CG in an 18-month longitudinal design following one hundred fifty-six SUSs. We found that SUSs suffering from pathological CG at Time 1 (T1) were lower in S-D at T1 and T2 and higher in depression at T2. We also found that SUSs with lower S-D at T1 had higher CG at T2. Using a structural equation model, we found that S-D at T1 contributed significantly (and negatively) to CG at T1, above and beyond the natural fading of CG over time. Our findings emphasize that while CG is highly prevalent among SUSs, S-D has a beneficial effect which can serve as a protective factor against CG for this group. Implications regarding possible interventions with SUSs were discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: suicide survivors; complicated grief; self-disclosure; longitudinal suicide survivors; complicated grief; self-disclosure; longitudinal
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Levi-Belz, Y.; Lev-Ari, L. “Let’s Talk About It”: The Moderating Role of Self-Disclosure on Complicated Grief over Time among Suicide Survivors. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3740.

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