The Impact of Culture and Afterlife Belief on Bereavement Outcome
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A study of a sample of bereaved individuals tested for the impact of afterlife belief and cultural difference on bereavement outcome. Previous research present inconsistent findings on the valence of afterlife belief: whether positive, negative, or neutral impact on one’s bereavement. Culture, societal norms, and values shape one’s understanding of death, subsequent mourning and grief. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the relationship between afterlife belief and culture on bereavement outcome. The sample consisted of 270 participants from 4 countries: Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, and Turkey, divided into two groups; individualistic and collectivistic. Two-way ANCOVA was conducted to examine these hypotheses: first, cultural differences in bereavement outcome; second, the impact of afterlife belief on grief level; third, culture × afterlife belief interaction on grief level. The results showed that the interaction effect of culture × afterlife belief reveals a statistically significant effect. However, there was no evidence of differences in culture and afterlife belief on influencing grief level, when tested by themselves. Covariates of the study, existence of previous losses, a chance to say goodbye and the age of the deceased found to be significant predictors of bereavement outcome.