The Effect of Belief in Grief-Stages, Self-Blame, & Social Conformity on the Grieving Process
David Augustine Boudville, David
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Since belief in Stages of Grief Models remain widespread despite increasing concern about their validity among mental health professionals, this paper investigates the hypothesis that it predicts increased complicated grief and whether self-blame and social conformity moderate this relationship. Linear regression was used to test the first hypothesis, that belief in grief-stages predict increased complicated grief reactions; two moderation analyses test the second, that social conformity moderates this, and third, that self-blame does likewise. Although results confirmed these trends, none achieved significance. This was largely attributed to convenience-based sampling methods not focusing on clinical groups, as it was suggested that nonclinical populations might believe grief-stages without harm. Thus, the convenience-based sampling method and use of scales unable to identify nuances of how belief might not be harmful may have been important limitations. Given important implications like a cognitive account of how belief in grief-stages maintains complicated grief in clinical populations and whether all such belief should be treated as traumatic, future research is merited into the role that population and other indicated factors play in the hypothetical effect of belief in grief stages upon complicated grief.