ERIC Number: ED201920
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
An Exploratory Study of Adjustment to Widowhood.
Haas-Hawkings, Gwen; And Others
Although widowhood is a disruptive and inevitable phenomenon for many older people, few studies have explored either adjustment to widowhood or the impact of widowhood on the lives of elderly people. Recently widowed persons (N=51), ranging in age from 49 to 83 years old, were interviewed to examine their relatively immediate psychosocial adjustment to widowhood. The time interval between death of spouse and the interview ranged from 4 to 12 weeks. No correlation was found between the Social Network Scale and any of the four adjustment measures, suggesting that the existence of a social network characterized by stability, intimacy, and reciprocity was not an important factor in the adjustment of these recently widowed persons. Positive correlations were found between preparation for loss and self-reports of adjustment, and between internal control and life satisfaction; negative correlations were found between internal control and psychiatric symptoms, and depression. Loneliness was the most frequently reported problem of widowhood, perhaps indicating that loneliness prior to widowhood may be a significant contributing factor to post-widowhood adjustment. Compared to samples of other older people, these subjects were relatively well-adjusted as indicated by scores on functional health, depression, and life satisfaction scales. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Health, Toronto.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (33rd, San Diego, CA, November 21-25, 1980).