Resilience to Loss in Bereaved Spouses, Bereaved Parents, and Bereaved Gay Men

George A. Bonanno*, Anthony Papa, Judith Tedlie Moskowitz, Susan Folkman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations


Recent research has indicated that many people faced with highly aversive events suffer only minor, transient disruptions in functioning and retain a capacity for positive affect and experiences. This article reports 2 studies that replicate and extend these findings among bereaved parents, spouses, and caregivers of a chronically ill life partner using a range of self-report and objective measures of adjustment. Resilience was evidenced in half of each bereaved sample when compared with matched, nonbereaved counterparts and 36% of the caregiver sample in a more conservative, repeated-measures ipsative comparison. Resilient individuals were not distinguished by the quality of their relationship with spouse/partner or caregiver burden but were rated more positively and as better adjusted by close friends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-843
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Bereavement
  • Loss
  • Resilience, depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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