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Parental bereavement and the loss of purpose in life as a function of interdependent self-construal.

Kim J, Hicks JA - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: As such, the loss of a child often represents one of the most traumatic experiences possible.Analyses of parents from the Midlife in the United States data set revealed, as expected, that the loss of child negatively predicts one's sense of purpose in life, and that this effect is most pronounced for parents high in interdependent self-construal.Potential mechanisms and implications of the present findings are discussed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station TX, USA.

ABSTRACT
Children are often inextricably linked to their parents' hopes and dreams. As such, the loss of a child often represents one of the most traumatic experiences possible. The current research explores how this specific loss relates to one's sense of purpose in life. We further explore whether the loss of a child is particularly detrimental to one's sense of purpose for highly interdependent parents. Analyses of parents from the Midlife in the United States data set revealed, as expected, that the loss of child negatively predicts one's sense of purpose in life, and that this effect is most pronounced for parents high in interdependent self-construal. Potential mechanisms and implications of the present findings are discussed.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Regression lines predicting purpose in life as a function of losing a child for individuals ±1 SD from the mean on interdependent self-construal in the cross-sectional (A) and longitudinal (B) analyses.
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Figure 1: Regression lines predicting purpose in life as a function of losing a child for individuals ±1 SD from the mean on interdependent self-construal in the cross-sectional (A) and longitudinal (B) analyses.

Mentions: We first conducted a hierarchical linear regression analysis using the self-reported loss of a child variable in a cross-sectional manner to test our hypothesis. The main effects of interdependent self-construal (centered) and the self-report item assessing losing a child (effect coded; -1 = no loss, 1 = loss of child) were entered in Step 1, and their interaction term was entered in Step 2. As presented in Table 1, we found that both the loss of a child (b = -0.31, p = 0.002) and interdependent self-construal (b = -0.17, p = 0.007) negatively predicted purpose in life. Importantly, however, the interaction effect was significant (b = -0.22, p = 0.01). As shown in Figure 1A, the experience of losing a child predicted less purpose in life for people high in interdependent self-construal (b = -0.56, p < 0.001), whereas losing a child was unrelated to purpose in life for those low in interdependent self-construal (b = -0.07, p = 0.60). This interaction pattern remained consistent even when relevant covariates (i.e., age, gender, education level, income, number of children, Big Five) were accounted for (see Table 2).


Parental bereavement and the loss of purpose in life as a function of interdependent self-construal.

Kim J, Hicks JA - Front Psychol (2015)

Regression lines predicting purpose in life as a function of losing a child for individuals ±1 SD from the mean on interdependent self-construal in the cross-sectional (A) and longitudinal (B) analyses.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4515542&req=5

Figure 1: Regression lines predicting purpose in life as a function of losing a child for individuals ±1 SD from the mean on interdependent self-construal in the cross-sectional (A) and longitudinal (B) analyses.
Mentions: We first conducted a hierarchical linear regression analysis using the self-reported loss of a child variable in a cross-sectional manner to test our hypothesis. The main effects of interdependent self-construal (centered) and the self-report item assessing losing a child (effect coded; -1 = no loss, 1 = loss of child) were entered in Step 1, and their interaction term was entered in Step 2. As presented in Table 1, we found that both the loss of a child (b = -0.31, p = 0.002) and interdependent self-construal (b = -0.17, p = 0.007) negatively predicted purpose in life. Importantly, however, the interaction effect was significant (b = -0.22, p = 0.01). As shown in Figure 1A, the experience of losing a child predicted less purpose in life for people high in interdependent self-construal (b = -0.56, p < 0.001), whereas losing a child was unrelated to purpose in life for those low in interdependent self-construal (b = -0.07, p = 0.60). This interaction pattern remained consistent even when relevant covariates (i.e., age, gender, education level, income, number of children, Big Five) were accounted for (see Table 2).

Bottom Line: As such, the loss of a child often represents one of the most traumatic experiences possible.Analyses of parents from the Midlife in the United States data set revealed, as expected, that the loss of child negatively predicts one's sense of purpose in life, and that this effect is most pronounced for parents high in interdependent self-construal.Potential mechanisms and implications of the present findings are discussed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station TX, USA.

ABSTRACT
Children are often inextricably linked to their parents' hopes and dreams. As such, the loss of a child often represents one of the most traumatic experiences possible. The current research explores how this specific loss relates to one's sense of purpose in life. We further explore whether the loss of a child is particularly detrimental to one's sense of purpose for highly interdependent parents. Analyses of parents from the Midlife in the United States data set revealed, as expected, that the loss of child negatively predicts one's sense of purpose in life, and that this effect is most pronounced for parents high in interdependent self-construal. Potential mechanisms and implications of the present findings are discussed.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus