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ERIC Number: EJ891595
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0748-1187
Online Dating and Conjugal Bereavement
Young, Dannagal Goldthwaite; Caplan, Scott E.
Death Studies, v34 n7 p575-605 2010
This study examined self-presentation in the online dating profiles of 241 widowed and 280 divorced individuals between 18 and 40 years old. A content analysis of open-ended user-generated profiles assessed the presence or absence of various themes, including the user's marital status, the backstory of their lost relationship, and whether they engaged in sense-making regarding that lost relationship. Results indicated that about one-third of widowed individuals discussed their loss in their profiles. In addition, about one-third of the widowed profiles included explicit reference to a philosophy of life, and about 16% mentioned sense-making or cognitive reappraisals of their bereavement. Many profiles included some articulation of a vision of a future partnership. Results also revealed a significant correlation between widowed individuals including a backstory and their likelihood of exhibiting sense-making in their profiles. Finally, unlike the widowed users, divorcees provided much briefer mentions of their lost relationships, used less sense-making language, and were less likely to articulate an explicit vision of future partnerships. Overall, the results suggest that for widowed individuals, online dating sites may function as venues to explore their past experiences and engage in the construction of a post-loss identity or a post-loss "ideal self." (Contains 5 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A