ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (5): 765-772.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.00765

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Continuing bonds and its relationship with adaptation to bereavement

HE Li1,2; TANG Xin-feng3,4; ZHU Zhi-yong5; 2,6   

  1. (1 Teachers’ college of Beijing Union University, Beijing 100011, China) (2 School of Psychology; 3 Center for Behavioral Health; 4 School of Social Development and Public Policy; 5 Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China) (6 Capital Medical University, Beijing 100088, China)
  • Received:2015-05-04 Online:2016-05-15 Published:2016-05-15
  • Contact: WANG Jian-ping,E-mail:


The relationship between the deceased and bereaved may not terminate upon death; an ongoing inner relationship with the deceased person may be presented by the bereaved individual, which is defined as continuing bonds (CB). CB is universal across different cultures. CB expressions seem to vary along several dimensions, e.g. locus of bond, initiating agent. The role that continuing bonds plays in adjustment to bereavement has received considerable attention in recent years, with complex and contradictory findings emerging across studies. Further studies should explore the manifestations and specific meanings of CB, the types of CB, and develop measurement tools on local culture. Meanwhile, more theory-driven empirical studies need to be conducted in the future.

Key words: continuing bonds, bereavement and grief, adaptation, internalized CB, externalized CB