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Schneiderman, L. (1974). Breavement: Studies of Grief in Adult Life. Colin Murray Parkes. New York: International Universities Press, 1972. 233 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 61(2):306-308.

(1974). Psychoanalytic Review, 61(2):306-308

Breavement: Studies of Grief in Adult Life. Colin Murray Parkes. New York: International Universities Press, 1972. 233 pp.

Review by:
Lee Schneiderman

The author of this sensitive and admirably lucid book is one of the most active and resourceful researchers in the psychology of mourning. The present volume, based on empirical findings from the United Kingdom and the United States, brings together the results of Parkes' pioneer studies and related investigations. He strikes a good balance between practical, commonsense interpretations of his data and a more speculative approach employing the concept of biological utility. Although his samples are not large or representative of mourners in general, Parkes has made an important start and has charted some of the main directions that future research should pursue. His chapter “Determinants of Grief” is especially valuable for its explanation of the relationship of personality factors to reactions of loss and suggests many possibilities for further inquiry. Similarly, Parkes' study of identity reformulation on the part of the survivor raises significant issues in the field of role analysis.

Although Parkes does not attempt to survey the literature dealing with bereavement, he provides a broad theoretical framework and successfully integrates a number of key variables.

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