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Bereavement Experience of Female Military Spousal Suicide Survivors: Utilizing Lazarus' Cognitive Stress Theory Open Access

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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of 5 variables--primary appraisal, secondary appraisal, coping skill, social support, and stigma--to bereavement among women whose military spouses had completed suicide. Correlational analyses determined the separate linear relationships between bereavement and each of the other variables. Four correlations to bereavement (primary appraisal, secondary appraisal, coping skills, and stigma) were significant. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis (Newton & Rudestam, 1999; Tabachnick & Fidell, 2007) assessed the overall relationship of bereavement (the criterion variable) to the 5 predictor variables, along with the unique contribution of each predictor variable. In the regression, 5 of 6 models (all except Model 4) showed significance. This dissertation has practical implications: statistically significant correlations between bereavement and constructs of Lazarus' Cognitive Stress Theory (LCST; Lazarus & Folkman, 1984), as well as the significance of Lazarus' construct of primary appraisal within Model 6, indicate that LCST holds promise for understanding symptoms of bereavement in women whose military spouses have completed suicide. In 2010, the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) reported that over 40,000 people committed suicide yearly, with each suicide impacting an estimated 20 people.

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