A Comparison of Risk Factors for Pathological Grief and Depression
MetadataShow full item record
Introduction. Research has focused on the extent to which pathological grief and depression are distinct disorders. The current study elaborated on this by examining risk factors associated with pathological grief and depression and assessed how these concepts differ. Methods. The current study used existing data from the TGI-CA Assessment after Loss in Europe (TALE) study (N = 433). All participants were 18 years and older and had lost a loved one at least six months ago. To assess levels of pathological grief and depression the TGI-CA and PHQ-9 were used respectively. Separate multiple regression analyses were conducted for both outcome variables. Results. The results show that pathological grief and depression were both predicted by the following risk factors: history of psychological support, shorter time since loss and unexpectedness of the loss. Additional risk factors were found for pathological grief: loss of a grandparent compared to ‘other’ and death due to an unnatural cause. Other predictors used in the analysis (gender, multiple loss and religious affiliation) showed no results. Discussion. This study examined and compared risk factors between pathological grief and depression in a general sample. Pathological grief and depression show some overlap in risk factors, however additional risk factors for pathological grief indicate that the two are distinct disorders. The results have clinical implications for early screening and intervening purposes. Furthermore, this study adds to the scientific literature of depression and pathological grief being two distinct disorders. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are being discussed.