alexa Physical Health Outcomes of Conjugal Bereavement: A Ps
ISSN : 2153-2435

Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta
Open Access

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Review Article

Physical Health Outcomes of Conjugal Bereavement: A Psychoneuroendocrine Model of Resilience

Julian C L Lai1*, Xiadong Yue1 and Su-Xia Li2

1Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

2National Institute on Drug Dependence, Peking University, China

*Corresponding Author:
Julian C L Lai
Department of Applied Social Studies
City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 34424306
Fax: +852 34420283
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: December 23, 2013; Accepted date: January 29, 2014; Published date: February 03, 2014

Citation: Lai JCL, Yue X, Li SX (2014) Physical Health Outcomes of Conjugal Bereavement: A Psychoneuroendocrine Model of Resilience. Pharm Anal Acta 5:284. doi: 10.4172/2153-2435.1000284

Copyright: © 2014 Lai JCL, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Conjugal bereavement, which is considered as one of the most intense psychosocial stressors, has been studied extensively for the last three decades. However, despite the wealth of data indicating the deleterious consequences of the death of a spouse, the process by which bereavement is translated into ill health and increased mortality remains unclear. Prior research has shown that not all individuals undergoing conjugal bereavement are equally affected. Increased morbidity is more likely to be observed in the young-old group, and those who are not able to cope with grief adaptively. A careful examination of the literature identifies two major issues that have not yet been addressed adequately. The first relates to the elusive physiological mechanisms underlying bereavement-induced morbidity. The second concerns the exclusive focus on vulnerability in prior research, which results in a lack of understanding of the factors facilitating better adjustment. This paper addresses the two issues, and puts forward a psychoneuroendocrine model to inform future research.


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