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Sense of self, depression and adaption to grief, in emerging adults who suffered parental loss


The death of a parent is a traumatic event usually accompanied by profound grief and psychological challenges. This study explored some of the factors which may predict sense of self, depression and adaption to grief in 328 parentally bereaved emerging adults. Our findings revealed a presence of pathological grief among young adults. The results also highlighted a strong negative relationship between sense of self and depression. Furthermore, depression was accounted for by sense of self, adaption to grief and time since loss of the parent/s. Interventions for parentally bereaved emerging adults should aim at strengthening their sense of self, for example through boosting resilience, social and professional support, meaningful relationships and ameliorative lifestyle changes.

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The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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The authors are grateful to the participants of this research. In particular, thanks are given to The Grief Network (@griefnetwork), a community for bereaved young adults, who kindly helped with data collection by sharing an invite to participate in this study with their members.

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Correspondence to Matteo Martini.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed Consent was obtained from all participants included in the study.

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The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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Jones, S., Martini, M. Sense of self, depression and adaption to grief, in emerging adults who suffered parental loss. Curr Psychol (2021).

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  • Emerging adulthood
  • Depression
  • Grief
  • Bereavement
  • Parental death
  • Sense of self