Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 441-441

Cross-Culture Perspective on Bereavement Springer

  • Anne Fierro VanderlaanAffiliated withPSY D, Saybrook University


Grief; Mourning; Sadness


The reactions to bereavement or loss of loved one from death or loss of a relationship. These feelings of loss may bring about grief.


Various cultures have diverse ways in the way they experience bereavement. There are many ways that grief or mourning may be expressed. In the United States, for example, the families of the deceased may continue to talk about the person as if he or she were still alive. The cross-culture perspective on bereavement depends upon various ways cultures suffer losses. There can be phases of natural grief that may be universal (Bowlby and Parkes, 1970); these are described as feelings of numbness, desire, longing, seeking combined with incompetence, inadequacy and anguish. Grief is not an illness and various individuals may need time to recoup their loss. Some people are never able to totally feel whole again. Cross-cultural differences transcend culture in expressions of grief. ...

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