The Melbourne family grief study, I

Perceptions of family functioning in bereavement

David W. Kissane, Sidney Bloch, David L. Dowe, Ray D. Snyder, Patrick Onghena, Dean P. McKenzie, Christopher S. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to identify patterns of families after the death of a parent. Method: one hundred fifteen families completed measures of family functioning, grief, psychological state, and social adjustment 6 weeks (time 1), 6 months (time 2), and 13 months (time 3) after the death of a parent (a total of 670 individual responses). Cluster analytic methods were applied to develop a typology of perceptions of family functioning during bereavement. Results: Five types of families emerged from dimensions of cohesiveness, conflict, and expressiveness on the Family Environment Scale. Thirty-six percent of the families were considered supportive because of their high cohesiveness, and another 23% resolved conflict effectively. Two types were dysfunctional: hostile families, distinguished by high conflict, low cohesiveness, and poor expressiveness, and sullen families, who had more moderate limitations in these three areas; they declined in frequency from 30% at time 1 to 15% at time 3. The remaining type (26%), termed intermediate, exhibited midrange cohesiveness, low control, and low achievement orientation. The typology at time 1 predicted typologies at time 2 and time 3. There were no age or gender differences among the family types, but offspring, as compared with spouses, were overrepresented in the hostile families. Conclusions: Family types can be identified, allowing at-risk families to be helped to prevent complications of grif. Screening with the family relationship index of the Family Environment Scale would facilitate such a family-centered approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-658
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume153
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996

Cite this

Kissane, David W. ; Bloch, Sidney ; Dowe, David L. ; Snyder, Ray D. ; Onghena, Patrick ; McKenzie, Dean P. ; Wallace, Christopher S. / The Melbourne family grief study, I : Perceptions of family functioning in bereavement. In: American Journal of Psychiatry. 1996 ; Vol. 153, No. 5. pp. 650-658.
@article{53ef54248ab0436b8d60e5f7c13f9838,
title = "The Melbourne family grief study, I: Perceptions of family functioning in bereavement",
abstract = "Objective: The aim of this study was to identify patterns of families after the death of a parent. Method: one hundred fifteen families completed measures of family functioning, grief, psychological state, and social adjustment 6 weeks (time 1), 6 months (time 2), and 13 months (time 3) after the death of a parent (a total of 670 individual responses). Cluster analytic methods were applied to develop a typology of perceptions of family functioning during bereavement. Results: Five types of families emerged from dimensions of cohesiveness, conflict, and expressiveness on the Family Environment Scale. Thirty-six percent of the families were considered supportive because of their high cohesiveness, and another 23{\%} resolved conflict effectively. Two types were dysfunctional: hostile families, distinguished by high conflict, low cohesiveness, and poor expressiveness, and sullen families, who had more moderate limitations in these three areas; they declined in frequency from 30{\%} at time 1 to 15{\%} at time 3. The remaining type (26{\%}), termed intermediate, exhibited midrange cohesiveness, low control, and low achievement orientation. The typology at time 1 predicted typologies at time 2 and time 3. There were no age or gender differences among the family types, but offspring, as compared with spouses, were overrepresented in the hostile families. Conclusions: Family types can be identified, allowing at-risk families to be helped to prevent complications of grif. Screening with the family relationship index of the Family Environment Scale would facilitate such a family-centered approach.",
author = "Kissane, {David W.} and Sidney Bloch and Dowe, {David L.} and Snyder, {Ray D.} and Patrick Onghena and McKenzie, {Dean P.} and Wallace, {Christopher S.}",
year = "1996",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1176/ajp.153.5.650",
language = "English",
volume = "153",
pages = "650--658",
journal = "American Journal of Psychiatry",
issn = "0002-953X",
publisher = "American Psychiatric Publishing",
number = "5",

}

The Melbourne family grief study, I : Perceptions of family functioning in bereavement. / Kissane, David W.; Bloch, Sidney; Dowe, David L.; Snyder, Ray D.; Onghena, Patrick; McKenzie, Dean P.; Wallace, Christopher S.

In: American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 153, No. 5, 01.01.1996, p. 650-658.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Melbourne family grief study, I

T2 - Perceptions of family functioning in bereavement

AU - Kissane, David W.

AU - Bloch, Sidney

AU - Dowe, David L.

AU - Snyder, Ray D.

AU - Onghena, Patrick

AU - McKenzie, Dean P.

AU - Wallace, Christopher S.

PY - 1996/1/1

Y1 - 1996/1/1

N2 - Objective: The aim of this study was to identify patterns of families after the death of a parent. Method: one hundred fifteen families completed measures of family functioning, grief, psychological state, and social adjustment 6 weeks (time 1), 6 months (time 2), and 13 months (time 3) after the death of a parent (a total of 670 individual responses). Cluster analytic methods were applied to develop a typology of perceptions of family functioning during bereavement. Results: Five types of families emerged from dimensions of cohesiveness, conflict, and expressiveness on the Family Environment Scale. Thirty-six percent of the families were considered supportive because of their high cohesiveness, and another 23% resolved conflict effectively. Two types were dysfunctional: hostile families, distinguished by high conflict, low cohesiveness, and poor expressiveness, and sullen families, who had more moderate limitations in these three areas; they declined in frequency from 30% at time 1 to 15% at time 3. The remaining type (26%), termed intermediate, exhibited midrange cohesiveness, low control, and low achievement orientation. The typology at time 1 predicted typologies at time 2 and time 3. There were no age or gender differences among the family types, but offspring, as compared with spouses, were overrepresented in the hostile families. Conclusions: Family types can be identified, allowing at-risk families to be helped to prevent complications of grif. Screening with the family relationship index of the Family Environment Scale would facilitate such a family-centered approach.

AB - Objective: The aim of this study was to identify patterns of families after the death of a parent. Method: one hundred fifteen families completed measures of family functioning, grief, psychological state, and social adjustment 6 weeks (time 1), 6 months (time 2), and 13 months (time 3) after the death of a parent (a total of 670 individual responses). Cluster analytic methods were applied to develop a typology of perceptions of family functioning during bereavement. Results: Five types of families emerged from dimensions of cohesiveness, conflict, and expressiveness on the Family Environment Scale. Thirty-six percent of the families were considered supportive because of their high cohesiveness, and another 23% resolved conflict effectively. Two types were dysfunctional: hostile families, distinguished by high conflict, low cohesiveness, and poor expressiveness, and sullen families, who had more moderate limitations in these three areas; they declined in frequency from 30% at time 1 to 15% at time 3. The remaining type (26%), termed intermediate, exhibited midrange cohesiveness, low control, and low achievement orientation. The typology at time 1 predicted typologies at time 2 and time 3. There were no age or gender differences among the family types, but offspring, as compared with spouses, were overrepresented in the hostile families. Conclusions: Family types can be identified, allowing at-risk families to be helped to prevent complications of grif. Screening with the family relationship index of the Family Environment Scale would facilitate such a family-centered approach.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0029986146&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1176/ajp.153.5.650

DO - 10.1176/ajp.153.5.650

M3 - Article

VL - 153

SP - 650

EP - 658

JO - American Journal of Psychiatry

JF - American Journal of Psychiatry

SN - 0002-953X

IS - 5

ER -