Risk factors for Complicated Grief

When dealing with death caused by a traumatic event, it is important to recognize that the trauma must be processed before grieving can take place. (Rando, 1993)

Survivor : – Less that 30 years old.
– Having children at home under 14 years old.
– 65 years and older.

Circumstances of death : – Long illness (over 18 months)
– Sudden death (under 2 weeks)
– Violent, traumatic, mutilating, random death.
– Perception that death could have been prevented.

Social support : – real or perceived lack of family, friends…

Concurrent losses within the past year : – death of another close person, divorce, job loss, retirement, children leaving home, major surgery/illness.

Quality of relationships with the deceased : – conflicted, ambivalent, highly dependent.

Prior history of health problems.

History of poor coping skills in past crises.

Loss of a child : -any age (includes reproductive loss, still deaths, adult children)

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