Understanding anticipatory grief: relationship to coping style, attachment style, caregiver strain, gender role identification, and spirituality



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Texas A&M University


This study investigated predictors of anticipatory grief among 70 caregivers using hospice services to care for a dying individual. Anticipatory grief (AG) was positively associated with disengagement coping; more specifically, it was negatively associated with problem avoidance and positively associated with wishful thinking and social withdrawal. Additionally, attachment anxiety was positively associated with anticipatory grief, while attachment avoidance was negatively related. Lastly, spirituality was found to be negatively associated with anticipatory grief. Engagement coping, caregiver strain, and masculine and feminine gender role identification did not significantly predict AG. Implications for clinical practice with caregivers as well as recommendations for future research are offered.