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Understanding Young People's Relationship Breakups Using the Dual Processing Model of Coping and Bereavement

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The aim of the current study was to explore young people’s experiences of and adjustment to romantic relationship breakup by reference to the Dual Processing Model of Coping and Bereavement (DPM; Stroebe & Schut, 1999). Participants were 31 registered forum users and 10 forum moderators. Findings were based on thematic analyses of messages posted on an Internet-mediated discussion forum over a 12-month period. Coping responses include availing of emotional support, self-expression, distraction, and indulgence in substance use or changes in eating behaviors. There appeared to be a reprioritization of values and opportunities for personal development and engagement in new and fulfilling relationships. The themes identified in the analysis broadly map onto the main elements of the DPM.
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Keywords: Break-up; coping; dual processing model; relationship dissolution; young people

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, Department of Education and Professional Studies, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland 2: Psychology Department, Health Service Executive, Dublin South East, Ireland 3: Psychological Consultancy, Beechlawn Medical, Monkstown, County Dublin, Ireland

Publication date: April 3, 2018

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