Bereaved Parents’ Change in Mental Health during a Dyadic Diary


Buyukcan-Tetik A., Topal M. A., Deryalar B., Ergun T. D., Aydin E. N., Aykutoglu B.

Journal of Loss and Trauma, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/15325024.2023.2267420
  • Journal Name: Journal of Loss and Trauma
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, CINAHL, EBSCO Education Source, Psycinfo, Violence & Abuse Abstracts
  • Keywords: Bereaved parents, child loss, dyadic diary, intensive longitudinal methods, mental health
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Recent years have seen a shift in the number of bereavement studies examining daily grief processes, but our knowledge is still limited due to the lack of dyadic research. In this paper, we explored the change in mental health in the course of a seven-day dyadic diary with bereaved couples who lost their child during pregnancy, labor, or afterward. We conducted dyadic latent growth curve analyses. In the bereaved parents who experienced a pregnancy loss, we found reduced grief (for both partners) and anxiety symptoms (only for women) and no changes in depression symptoms or personal strength levels across the diary days. In the bereaved parents who lost their child during labor or afterward, both partners’ grief and depression symptoms and women’s anxiety symptoms stayed stable, men’s anxiety symptoms decreased, but women experienced a decline in their personal strength. Overall, negative aspects of mental health showed no sign of a dyadic diary’s harm to the bereaved parents and even pointed to increased mental health in some respects during the study. However, a feeling of reduced capacity to deal with difficulties during the diary was also observed in women. Our findings indicated that both negative and positive aspects of mental health should be considered to evaluate the impact of diary studies on the participants.