Parents’ adjustment following the death of their child: Resilience is multidimensional and differs across outcomes examined

Frank Infurna, Suniya Luthar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examine whether the previously reported commonness of resilience to significant adversity extends to parents’ death of a child. To examine our research questions, we apply growth mixture models to longitudinal data from 461 parents in the HILDA study who had experienced child loss. The proportion of parents manifesting resilience were 44%, 56%, 21%, 32%, and 16% for life satisfaction, negative affect, positive affect, general health, and physical functioning, respectively. Only 5% were resilient across all five indices, whereas 28% did not show a resilient trajectory across all outcomes. Social connectedness, anticipating comfort when distressed, and everyday role functioning were the strongest predictors of resilient adaptation. Findings underscore that resilience is not a unidimensional construct. Words: 115.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-53
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Volume68
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

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Social Adjustment
Parents
Health
Growth
Research

Keywords

  • Bereavement
  • Child loss
  • HILDA: subjective well-being
  • Major life stressors
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "We examine whether the previously reported commonness of resilience to significant adversity extends to parents’ death of a child. To examine our research questions, we apply growth mixture models to longitudinal data from 461 parents in the HILDA study who had experienced child loss. The proportion of parents manifesting resilience were 44{\%}, 56{\%}, 21{\%}, 32{\%}, and 16{\%} for life satisfaction, negative affect, positive affect, general health, and physical functioning, respectively. Only 5{\%} were resilient across all five indices, whereas 28{\%} did not show a resilient trajectory across all outcomes. Social connectedness, anticipating comfort when distressed, and everyday role functioning were the strongest predictors of resilient adaptation. Findings underscore that resilience is not a unidimensional construct. Words: 115.",
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