Grief reactions experienced by widows compared to perceptions of widows' grief reactions by selected professions




Conway, Shoshanna E. Williams

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A study was conducted to determine whether or not differences existed between widows' experiences in conjugal bereavement and selected professionals' perceptions of widows' experiences in conjugal bereavement. The selected professionals were clergy, counselors, funeral directors, and physicians. 300 widows from Widowed Persons Service in Ft. Worth, TX were randomly selected and sent a demographic questionnaire, the Bereavement Experience Questionnaire (BEQ), the Impact of Event Scale (IES), and the Coping Inventory (CI). 100 professionals from each of the 4 professions were also randomly selected and sent a demographic questionnaire specific to their profession, a BEQ, an IES, and a CI. The professionals were instructed to answer so as to reflect their perceptions of widows' grief reactions. Of the 5 null hypotheses which dealt with widows and professionals, 4 were rejected (p<.OS) and 1 was partially rejected.The 6th hypothesis, which compared mean scores of professionals who had and had not dealt with the problems of widows, was accepted. The 7th and final hypothesis was partially rejected when mean scores of long-term widows (widowed > 3 years) were compared to mean scores of short-term widows (widowed < 3 years).



Grief reactions, Grief, Widows