Repressive Coping, Emotional Adjustment, and Cognition in People Who Have Lost Loved Ones to Suicide

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Abstract

Research indicates that a repressive coping style is psychologically protective against the stress of trauma, yet it is unclear whether this finding generalizes to suicide bereavement. Thus, we assessed cognitive ability and mental health among individuals who lost a loved one to suicide. The results indicate that repressive coping may be associated with greater emotional health during suicide bereavement. Interestingly, “repressors” also had lower scores on both cognitive tasks compared to “nonrepressors,” but it is unclear whether their more recent loss accounts for this difference. These results are based on cross-sectional data, and should be interpreted with caution.

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