Cover image for Coping with loss
Coping with loss
Nolen-Hoeksema, Susan, 1959-2013.
Publication Information:
Mahwah, N.J. : Erlbaum, 1999.
Physical Description:
vii, 223 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Reading Level:
1210 Lexile.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF575.D35 N65 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Coping With Loss describes the many ways in which people cope with the death of someone they love.

Most earlier books on bereavement have fallen into two categories: distillations of the clinical experience of individual therapists or collections of chapters reporting the results of empirical studies. Each category is valuable but has tended to serve a narrow group of readers--practitioners with particular theoretical orientations or researchers in quest of the latest findings. Coauthored by a leading research psychologist and an experienced therapist who specializes in bereavement education and intervention, this book is different. The authors weave together the strands of theory, research, and clinical wisdom into a seamless and readable narrative.

While they discuss previous work, they also present new data, never before published, from one of the largest studies of bereaved people ever conducted, the Bereavement Coping Project. Unlike most studies to date, which focused on only one type of bereaved group (usually widows or widowers), the Bereavement Coping Project examined the experiences of several different groups during the first l8 months after the death. The groups included those who had lost a spouse, a parent, an adult sibling, or a child; and those who had lost their significant other to cancer or cardiovascular disease on one hand as opposed to the stigmatized disease of AIDS on the other.

The book begins with a critical overview of theories of bereavement; succeeding chapters explore in depth the impact of specific types of loss, the impact of particular coping strategies on recovery; the impact of social supports and religion, and the special cases of children and of people who seem to grow and change for the better after a loss. A final chapter considers implications for intervention with bereaved people.

Each chapter is richly illuminated with real-life examples throughout and ends with a section called "Voices" in which bereaved people describe their various attempts to cope in their own words. Insightful and informative.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Nolen-Hoeksema and Larson provide an excellent integration of theory, research, and clinical wisdom concerning how people cope with the death of someone they love. In their overview of theories of bereavement, the authors distinguish between the traditional grief models--in which bereaved people are assumed to go through predictable stages of grief experience and resolution--and the stress and coping models of bereavement, in which a loss is viewed as a psychological transition that challenges people's basic assumptions about the world and requires a reorganization of daily life and self-concept. The authors examine the experiences of 300 people during the first 18 months after the death of a spouse, parent, adult sibling, or a child, giving attention to the differential impact of losing a loved one to cancer or cardiovascular disease or to a stigmatized disease such as AIDS. The focus on different types of bereavement within a single project makes this book especially interesting and valuable. A final chapter considers implications for intervening with people experiencing various types of bereavement. Each chapter closes with a section entitled "Voices," in which bereaved people describe, in their own words, their attempts to cope with losses. Highly recommended for academic and public collections at all levels. R. B. Stewart Jr. Oakland University

Table of Contents

The Lea Series in Personality and Clinical Psychologyp. ii
Prefacep. vii
1 Perspectives on Lossp. 1
2 The Special Challenges of Different Types of Lossesp. 33
3 Coping and Personalityp. 61
4 Social Supportp. 84
5 Children and Griefp. 109
6 Growth and Resilience Following Lossp. 143
7 Interventionsp. 163
Appendixp. 195
Referencesp. 202
Author Indexp. 216
Subject Indexp. 222