Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 261–270

Development and Validation of an Instrument for the Assessment of Dependency Among Bereaved Persons

  • Jeffrey G. Johnson
  • Lauren C. Vanderwerker
  • Robert F. Bornstein
  • Baohui Zhang
  • Holly G. Prigerson

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.


dependency bereavement complicated grief depression risk assessment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey G. Johnson
    • 1
  • Lauren C. Vanderwerker
    • 2
  • Robert F. Bornstein
    • 3
  • Baohui Zhang
    • 2
  • Holly G. Prigerson
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryColumbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the New York State Psychiatric InstituteNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Psycho-Oncology and Palliative Care ResearchDana Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyGettysburg CollegeGettysburgUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  5. 5.Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative CareBostonUSA
  6. 6.Center for Psycho-Oncology and Palliative Care ResearchDana Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA

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