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March 1981

Initial Psychological Response to Parental Death

Author Affiliations

From the Center for the Study of Neuroses, Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(3):316-323. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780280084010

• A cohort of patients seeking help at a clinical research center providing time-limited brief therapy for posttraumatic stress disorders was assembled. The single life event experienced by each was death of a parent. A nonequivalent comparison group was gathered by review of hospital death records. Both groups received the same type of evaluation interview and completed the same measures, which were similar to those done for both groups by the clinical interviewer. These data indicated that while both groups contained persons with medium to high distress levels, the patient group was most uniformly composed of such persons; when compared with the field-study group, the patient group had significant and important elevations of distress levels.