Development and Validation of an Instrument for the Assessment of Dependency Among Bereaved Persons
Dependency among bereaved individuals has been hypothesized to be an important predictor of severe and enduring grief reactions. However, although there are a number of instruments that assess interpersonal dependency as a personality trait or style, no scales are available to assess bereavement-related dependency. Data from 170 widowed participants in a community-based longitudinal investigation, who had been bereaved for an average of 10.8 months, were used to investigate the reliability and validity of the Bereavement Dependency Scale (BDS), an instrument that was developed to assess dependency on the deceased among bereaved persons. Results indicated that the BDS demonstrated acceptable internal reliability and satisfactory convergent, discriminant, and construct validity. The BDS may be a clinically useful predictor of enduring and complicated grief reactions, major depressive disorder, and suicidality among recently bereaved individuals.