Korean Clinical Psychology Association
[ Original Article ]
Korean Journal of Clinical Psychology - Vol. 40, No. 2, pp.156-166
ISSN: 1229-0335 (Print) 2733-4538 (Online)
Print publication date 30 May 2021
Received 03 Dec 2020 Revised 22 Feb 2021 Accepted 25 Feb 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15842/kjcp.2021.40.2.004

사건중심성이 청소년기 부모사별을 경험한 초기 성인의 복잡성 사별비애와 외상후 성장에 미치는 영향: 외상화된 자기체계와 의미재구성의 매개효과

권지은 ; 유성은
충북대학교 심리학과
The Effects of Event Centrality on Complicated Grief and Posttraumatic Growth among Young Adults with Parental Bereavement during Adolescence: The Mediating Effect of Traumatized Self-system and Meaning Reconstruction
Jieun Kwon ; Sungeun You
Department of Psychology, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea

Correspondence to: Sungeun You, Department of Psychology, Chungbuk National University, 1 Chungdae-ro, Seowon-gu, Cheongju 28644, Korea; E-mail: syou@chungbuk.ac.kr

© 2021 Korean Clinical Psychology Association


본 연구는 청소년기에 부모와 사별한 초기 성인의 복잡성 사별비애와 외상후 성장에 영향을 미치는 인지적 변인들을 탐색하였다. 특히 사건중심성이 복잡성 사별비애와 외상후 성장에 이르는 경로에서 외상화된 자기개념과 의미재구성의 매개효과를 3개월 단기 종단 설계를 통해 검증하였다. 청소년기에 부모와 사별한 만 19세에서 29세의 성인들을 온라인을 통해 모집하고 설문을 실시하였다. 1차 설문에는 200명이 참여했으며, 이 중 150명이 3개월 후에 실시된 2차 설문에 참여하였다. 연구 결과, 예측한 바와 같이 사건 중심성은 1차와 2차에 측정한 복잡성 사별비애와 외상후 성장 모두와 정적 상관이 있었다. 사건중심성이 복잡성 사별비애에 이르는 매개모델에서 외상화된 자기체계는 1차 복잡성 사별비애에 대해 매개효과가 있었지만, 2차 복잡성 사별비애에 대해서는 외상화된 자기체계와 의미재구성의 매개효과는 유의하지 않았다. 반면, 사건중심성이 외상후 성장에 이르는 매개모델에서 외상화된 자기체계와 의미재구성은 완전 매개효과가 있었다. 본 연구 결과는 사건중심성은 복잡성 사별비애에 대해 직접적인 영향을 미치는 주요한 요인이며, 외상후 성장에 대해서는 매개변수를 통해 간접적인 영향을 미친다는 것을 보여준다. 또한 외상화된 자기체계와 의미재구성은 사별의 부적응적 반응인 복잡성 사별비애를 낮추기 보다는 적응적 반응인 외상후 성장을 증진하는데 도움이 되는 변인임을 시사한다.


This study examined the role of cognitive factors in complicated grief and posttraumatic growth in young adults who experienced parental death during adolescence. Specifically, using a three-month short-term longitudinal design, we examined the mediating role of meaning reconstruction and traumatized self-system in the effect of event centrality on complicated grief or posttraumatic growth. Adults aged 19 to 29 years who experienced parental death during adolescence were recruited for this study. Two hundred participants responded to the baseline online survey (Time 1), and 150 completed a follow-up survey after three months (Time 2). As expected, event centrality was positively associated with complicated grief or posttraumatic growth at Times 1 and 2. The test of a mediation model for complicated grief indicated that neither traumatized self-system nor meaning reconstruction mediated the relationship between event centrality and complicated grief at Time 2. However, higher levels of traumatized self-system were cross-sectionally associated with complicated grief at Time 1. Conversely, both traumatized self-system and meaning reconstruction significantly mediated the relationship between event centrality and posttraumatic growth at Time 2. These findings suggest that reducing traumatized self-system and enhancing meaning reconstruction could help develop posttraumatic growth whereas such intervention may not help reduce complicated grief longitudinally.


complicated grief, posttraumatic growth, parental bereavement, short-term longitudinal study


복잡성 사별비애, 외상후 성장, 부모사별, 단기종단연구


This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017S1A5B8059946).

Author contributions statement

Jieun Kwon, graduate student at Chungbuk National University, collected and analyzed data, and led manuscript preparation. Sungeun You, professor at Chungbuk National University, served as the principal investigator of the research and supervised the research process. All authors contributed to conception and design of the work, provided critical feedback, participated in revision of the manuscript, and approved the final submission.


  • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental disorders, fifth edition: DSM-5. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. [https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596]
  • Bellet, B. W., Neimeyer, R. A., & Berman, J. S. (2018). Event centrality and bereavement symptomatology: The moderating role of meaning made. Journal of Death and Dying, 78, 3-23. [https://doi.org/10.1177/0030222816679659]
  • Berntsen, D., & Rubin, D. C. (2006). The Centrality of Event Scale: A measure of integrating a trauma into one’s identity and its relation to post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44, 219-231. [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2005.01.009]
  • Boals, A., & Schuettler, D. (2011). A double–edged sword: Event centrality, PTSD, and posttraumatic growth. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25, 817-822. [https://doi.org/10.1002/acp.1753]
  • Brent, D. A., & Melhem, N. M. (2012). Longitudinal effects of parental bereavement on adolescent developmental competence. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 41, 778-791. [https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2012.717871]
  • Calderwood, K. A. (2011). Adapting the transtheoretical model of change to the bereavement process. Social Work, 56, 107-118. [https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/56.2.107]
  • Calhoun, L. G., & Tedeschi, R. G. (2004). The foundation of posttraumatic growth: New considerations. Psychological Inquiry, 15, 93-102. [https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327965pli1501_03]
  • Calhoun, L. G., Cann, A., & Tedeschi, R. G. (2010). Beyond recovery from trauma: Implication for clinical practice. Journal of Social Issues, 54, 357-371. [https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.1998.tb01223.x]
  • Cho, M. S., & Lee, Y. H. (2011). A validation study of the Centrality of Event Scale-Korean version. The Korean Journal of Psychology: General, 30, 763-774.
  • Choi, S. J., & Ahn, H. N. (2013). The relationship between meaning reconstruction in response to loss experience and psychological adjustment. Korea Journal of Counseling, 14, 323-341. [https://doi.org/10.15703/kjc.14.1.201302.323]
  • Currier, J. M., Holland, J. M., & Neimeyer, R. A. (2012). Prolonged grief symptoms and growth in the first 2 years of bereavement: evidence for a nonlinear association. Traumatology, 18, 65-71. [https://doi.org/10.1177/1534765612438948]
  • Ens, C., & Bond, J. B. (2005). Death anxiety and personal growth in adolescents experiencing the death of a grandparents. Death Studies, 29, 171-178. [https://doi.org/10.1080/07481180590906192]
  • Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and society. New York: Norton.
  • Freeman, S. J. (2005). Grief and loss: understanding the journey. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
  • Gray, L. B., Weller, R. A., Fristad, M., & Weller, E. B. (2011). Depression in children and adolescents two months after the death of a parent. Journal of Affective Disorders, 135, 277-283. [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2011.08.009]
  • Gehrt, T. B., Berntsen, D., Hoyle, R. H., & Rubin, D. C. (2018). Psychological and clinical correlates of the centrality of event scale: A systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 65, 57-80. [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2018.07.006]
  • Gillies, J. M. (2005). Meaning reconstruction in response to bereavement: constructing a measure (Doctoral dissertation). ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 3199469.
  • Gillies, J. M., & Neimeyer, R. A. (2006). Loss, grief, and the search for significance: Toward a model of meaning reconstruction in bereavement. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 19, 31-65. [https://doi.org/10.1080/10720530500311182]
  • Groleau, J. M., Calhoun, L. G., Cann, A., & Tedeschi, R. G. (2013). The role of centrality of events in posttraumatic distress and posttraumatic growth. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 5, 477-483. [https://doi.org/10.1037/a0028809]
  • Habermas, T., & Bluck, S. (2000). Getting a life: The emergence of the life story in adolescent. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 748-769. [https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.126.5.748]
  • Harrison, L., & Harrington, R. (2001). Adolescents’ bereavement experiences: Prevalence, association with depressive symptoms and use of services. Journal of Adolescence, 24, 159-169. [https://doi.org/10.1006/jado.2001.0379]
  • Hayslip, B., Pruett, J. H., & Caballero, D. M. (2015). The “how” and “when” of parental loss in adulthood: Effect on grief and adjustment. Omega-Journal of Death and Dying, 71, 3-18. [https://doi.org/10.1177/0030222814568274]
  • Hogan, N. S., & Schmidt, I. A. (2002). Testing grief to personal growth model using structural equation modelling. Death Studies, 26, 615-635. [https://doi.org/10.1080/07481180290088338]
  • Im, S. Y., & Kwon, S. M. (2013). The influence of cognitive strategies and belief systems on posttraumatic growth following relational loss. Korean Journal of Clinical Psychology, 32, 567-588. [https://doi.org/10.15842/kjcp.2013.32.3.006]
  • Jang, J. Y., & Ahn, H. N. (2011). Development and validation of traumatized self-system scale. The Korean Journal of Counseling and Psychotherapy. 23, 369-385.
  • Kim, S., & You, S. (2019). Are coping flexibility, forward focus coping, and trauma focus coping protective for complicated grief? Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Korea, 19, 37-58. [https://doi.org/10.33703/cbtk.2019.19.1.37]
  • Levi-Belz, Y. (2019). With a little help from my friends: A follow-up study on the contribution of interpersonal characteristics to posttraumatic growth among suicide-loss survivors. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 11, 895-904. [https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000456]
  • Maier, E. H., & Lachman, M. E. (2000). Consequences of early parental loss and separation for health and well-being in midlife. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 24, 183-189. [https://doi.org/10.1080/016502500383304]
  • Mallon, B. (2011). Working with Bereaved Children and Young People. London, UK: SAGE.
  • McClatchey, I. S., & Wimmer, J. S. (2014). Coping with parental death as seen from the perspective of children who attended a grief camp. Qualitative Social Work, 13, 221-236. [https://doi.org/10.1177/1473325012465104]
  • Melhem, N. M., Porta, G., Shamseddeen, W., Payne, M. W., & Brent, D. A. (2011). Grief in children and adolescents bereaved by sudden parental death. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68, 911-919. [https://doi.org/10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.101]
  • Michael, C., & Cooper, M. (2013). Post-traumatic growth following bereavement: A systematic review of the literature. Counselling Psychology Review, 28, 18-33.
  • Neimeyer, R. A. (2000). Searching for the meaning of meaning: Grief therapy and the process of reconstruction. Death Studies, 24, 541-558. [https://doi.org/10.1080/07481180050121480]
  • Neimeyer, R. A. (2001). Meaning reconstruction and the experience of loss. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. [https://doi.org/10.1037/10397-000]
  • Park, C. L., & Ai, A. L. (2006). Meaning making and growth: new directions for research on survivors of trauma. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 11, 389-407. [https://doi.org/10.1080/15325020600685295]
  • Park, H.W., & Ahn, H. (2006). The Effects of Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms, Spirituality, and Rumination on Posttraumatic Growth. Korea Journal of Counseling, 7, 201-214.
  • Prigerson, H. G., Maciejewski, P. K., Reynolds, C. F., Bierhals, A. J., Newsom, J. T., Fasiczka, A., . . . Miller, M. (1995). Inventory of complicated grief: A scale to measure maladaptive symptoms of loss. Psychiatry Research, 59, 65-79. [https://doi.org/10.1016/0165-1781(95)02757-2]
  • Salloum, A., Bjoerke, A., & Johnco, C. (2019). The associations of complicated grief, depression, posttraumaic growth, and hope among bereaved youth. Journal of Death and Dying, 79, 157-173. [https://doi.org/10.1177/0030222817719805]
  • Schaefer, J. A., & Moor, R. H. (2002). Bereavement experiences and personal growth. In M. S. Stroebe, R. O. Hansson, W. Stoebe, & H. Schul (Eds.), Handbook of bereavement research consequences, coping and care (pp. 145-167). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. [https://doi.org/10.1037/10436-006]
  • Song, S. H., Lee, H. S., Park, J. H., & Kim, K. H. (2009). Validity and reliability of the Korean version of the posttraumatic growth inventory. The Korean Journal of Health Psychology, 14, 193-214. [https://doi.org/10.17315/kjhp.2009.14.1.012]
  • Stroebe, M. S., & Schut, H. (2008). The dual process model of coping with bereavement: Overview and update. Grief Matter: The Australian Journal of Grief and Bereavement, 11, 4-10.
  • Stroebe, M. S., Schut, H., & Stroebe, W. (2007). Health outcomes of bereavement. Lancet, 370, 1960-1973. [https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61816-9]
  • Taku, K., Calhoun, L. G, Cann, A., & Tedeschi, R. G. (2006). The role of rumination in the coexistence of distress and posttraumatic growth among bereaved Japanese university students. Death Studies, 32, 428-444. [https://doi.org/10.1080/07481180801974745]
  • Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (1995). Trauma and transformation: Growing in the aftermath of suffering. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. [https://doi.org/10.4135/9781483326931]
  • Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (1996). The posttraumatic growth inventory: Measuring the positive legacy of trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 9, 455-471. [https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.2490090305]
  • Tedeschi, R. G., Calhoun, L. G., & Cann, A. (2007). Evaluating resource gain: Understanding and misunderstanding posttraumatic growth. Applied Psychology, 56, 396-406. [https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1464-0597.2007.00299.x]
  • Worden, J. W., & Silverman, P. R. (1996). Parental death and the adjustment of school age children. Omega, 33, 91-102. [https://doi.org/10.2190/P77L-F6F6-5W06-NHBX]