Communicative responses to grief in romantic relationships
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This thesis examines the role of expectation of death, attachment orientation, and relational uncertainty in bereavement coping responses in romantic relationships. The current study posits that the degree to which loss is anticipated and the attachment orientation of the bereaved impact cognitive appraisals of loss. Additionally, attachment orientation is predicted to impact sources of relational uncertainty and communicative responses to loss in the bereaved. One hundred and five bereaved participants recruited from the University of Georgia completed a questionnaire, measuring the following variables: expectation of death, appraisal of loss, self and partner uncertainty, and coping responses. In total, the results of this investigation suggested that the expectation of death and attachment orientation influence appraisals of loss. Results also supported the contention that attachment orientation impacts sources of uncertainty and communicative responses to loss. These results are interpreted as offering support for a nuanced model of communication among bereaved individuals and romantic partners. Limitations of this thesis are addressed, as are the implications and directions for future research.