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Toward a Psychology of Loss

John H. Harvey and Eric D. Miller
Psychological Science
Vol. 9, No. 6 (Nov., 1998), pp. 429-434
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40063352
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Toward a Psychology of Loss
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Abstract

This article argues for the development of an interdisciplinary psychology of loss that is focused on people's pervading commonsense experience and recognition of loss in their own and others' lives. This field may be defined as broader than related fields such as traumatology, thanatology, and stress and coping. The psychology of loss focuses on the perception of major loss deriving from events such as death and divorce, but also on the perception of major loss in connection with such diverse phenomena as loss of employment, loss of bodily functioning, and being the target of violence or prejudice, including genocide. An important research topic for this field concerns people's stories of how major losses are interrelated in their lives. It is argued that perceived loss is a critical phenomenal state that must be dealt with in adaptation to most significant stressors.

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