The Relationship Between Meaning in Life, Grief, and Meaning-Making of Loss Among the Bereaved A Cultural Comparison Between Turkey and Germany
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Prior literature emphasizes the role of meaning in life beliefs in positive adjustment to stressful life events. However, most of the studies have been mainly conducted in Western cultures and it remains unclear how meaning in life beliefs are associated with meaning-making of loss and grief among different cultures. Therefore, this study investigated the relationship between meaning in life beliefs, grief and meaning-making of loss between collectivistic and individualistic cultures. A sample of 306 bereaved German and Turkish participants answered an online questionnaire. The findings of this study reveal that greater meaning in life beliefs were associated with higher meaning-making of loss and less grief. Greater feelings of closeness to the lost one were further related to higher levels of meaning-making of loss. Cultural differences indicate that with higher levels of meaning in life, collectivistic cultures reveal lower levels of grief as compared to individualistic cultures. Additionally, culture does not significantly moderate the relationship between meaning in life and meaning-making of loss. Nevertheless, a trend reveals that compared to Germans, Turkish people report higher meaning-making of loss with lower meaning in life beliefs. This study is the first to demonstrate the role of meaning in life beliefs in the psychological adjustment to the loss of the loved one and how this differed between collectivistic and individualistic cultures. By investigating this association empirically, a general understanding concerning the psychological mechanisms will be enhanced, and practical help for individuals with different cultural backgrounds can be provided.