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Meaning making 

Meaning making
Chapter:
Meaning making
Author(s):

Laurie A. Burke

and Robert A. Neimeyer

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199571390.003.0019
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date: 23 October 2017

This chapter reviews aspects of spirituality/religion as they intersect with the health and wellbeing of individuals whose lives have been disrupted by a variety of stressors, including the death of a loved one. Although results are not entirely consistent, numerous studies converge to suggest that religious beliefs/practices can reduce distress in spiritually inclined individuals, and facilitate good decision-making, healthy living, and altruistic behaviours. However, some studies also imply that severe life stressors like traumatic bereavement can severely challenge one’s faith in turn. This review also illuminates how religious coping can be complex to explore, producing fi ndings that are occasionally contradictory and challenging to interpret. Moreover, surprisingly little is known about the antecedents of spiritual crisis. In terms of bereavement, not only is further research needed to explore predictors of CSG, but also to investigate CSG’s potential role in predicting physical outcomes following a challenging bereavement.

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