Date of Award

6-2019

Degree Name

MS in Psychology

Department

Psychology & Child Development

Advisor

Aaron R. Estrada

Abstract

Grief is a universal reaction to loss. Losses are often associated to the death of a loved one, however, they may also originate from the end of an intimate partner relationship. Whereas studies have focused on grief after a divorce or on symptomology students endure after a death, this article attends to the understudied college student experience of grief following a breakup. Within emerging adulthood, the loss of a close romantic relationship may be challenging to navigate alongside the daily stressors of college. Stigmatization by means of social cues convey sentiments, such as the need to get over an ex-partner, which in turn can lead to disenfranchised grief where individuals do not feel heard, accepted, or valid in their experience of grief. It was hypothesized that as endorsed closeness of the past relationship increases so does grief intensity, and that as feelings of stigmatization increase also increases grief intensity. Multiple regression models supported the main effects, although the interaction effect between levels of closeness and perceived stigmatization was not supported. Implications and future directions are discussed.

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