Journal of Community Psychology

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Resilience and adjustment to widowhood in the Israeli Arab Muslim society: A new perspective

Abstract

Research on bereavement and loss is often concentrated on sustaining meaning in life and maintaining emotional well‐being, despite the psychological impact of loss. However, this research rarely examined empirically what determines the resilience of the bereaved. The present study posits that resilience of widows is a dual construct representing the ratio of their strength and vulnerability (SVR). This ratio of protective factors and risk factors, which was validated in studies of resilience to the effects of war, terrorist attacks, or fire disaster, is presently examined by the balance of posttraumatic growth to distress symptoms of 93 Israeli Arab Muslim widows. Results show that SVR and resilience promoting personality attributes are consistently correlated with beneficial and detrimental responses to a loss of a husband. Results are discussed in terms of cultural effects on mourning, and the validity of the SVR index.

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