Affects of Parental Death on Intimate Relationships for Surviving Children

The loss of a parent may be devastating at any age. One might assume that it may be easier to cope and move on with life if the deceased parent was of substantially older age and the adult children have had ample time to enjoy their parents as well as prepare for changes and brace themselves for the time when they would indeed lose their parents. It may be fair to assume that in turn losing a parent at a much younger age may be detrimental in that the preparation process may have been shortened and there was not as much time to nurture and enjoy an adult relationship with the parents. This paper explores the implications of parental death on young adult bereaved children between the ages of twenty and thirty-five years old and their ability to obtain and maintain healthy romantic relationships of their own. Reviewing numerous articles on the topics of grief and loss, this writer investigates reasons for or against a correlation between healthy relationships and unhealthy relationships related to early parental death. The results elusively did not offer direct correlation relating parental death to commitment levels in the adult bereaved child’s relationships. However, there is evidence suggesting an indirect correlation given that the research linked parental death to increased emotional reactions and grief process, which in turn was linked to commitment levels in romantic relationships.

Caroline Elayna Anderson
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