The Unbearable Heaviness of Nonbeing: The Path from Crisis of Meaning to Meaningfulness during Bereavement

Okay, Deniz
The primary objective of this dissertation was to comprehensively investigate the concept of meaning, particularly within the context of loss and bereavement. To this purpose, two separate studies were undertaken. The first study aimed to adapt the Sources of Meaning and Meaning in Life Questionnaire designed to measure meaningfulness, crisis of meaning and sources of meaning. The study sample comprised 2172 participants. The results indicated that the adapted measure had good reliability and validity. Additionally, based on the content and factor analysis results of the questionnaire, an adaptation of the Sources of Meaning Card Method was developed. The second study focused on examining the processes of meaning-making during bereavement. To this end, a model was constructed by integrating existing models in the literature with novel concepts derived from existential theories. The study included 333 bereaved individuals. To test the proposed model, structural equation modeling was employed. The findings revealed that, following several model modifications, the model exhibited a sufficient fit. According to this model, crisis of meaning significantly predicted distress, which, in turn, significantly predicted meaning-making processing variables (deliberate rumination, intrusive rumination, emotional expression, uncertainty tolerance). While rumination variables emerged as significant negative predictors, emotional expression and uncertainty tolerance were identified as significant positive predictors of situational meaning. Furthermore, death anxiety was found to be a significant mediator between situational meaning and global meaning. The results of this dissertation were discussed in light of the existing literature, and its strengths, limitations and clinical implications were presented.
Citation Formats
D. Okay, “The Unbearable Heaviness of Nonbeing: The Path from Crisis of Meaning to Meaningfulness during Bereavement,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2023.