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Culture and Continuing Bonds: A Prospective Comparison of Bereavement in the United States and the People's Republic of China

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There has been an increased interest and debate regarding the adaptiveness of continuing bonds with the deceased. The authors used data from a cross-cultural study of 61 participants from the United States (US) and 58 participants from the People's Republic of China (PRC) who completed measures of continuing bonds and adjustment at 4 and 18 months of bereavement. Higher levels of continuing bonds in the PRC at 4 months were related to better adjustment at 18 months. In contrast, results in the US showed that higher levels of continuing bonds were related to poorer adjustment at 18 months. The data suggest that culture should be addressed in the development of effective grief therapies, especially when considering continuing bonds with the deceased.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2006

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