ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (7): 1159-1169.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.01159

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Prolonged Grief Disorder: Concept, Epidemiology, and Pathological Mechanism

TANG Suqin;HE Li;LIU Bo;WANG Jianping   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100876, China) (2 Beijing Key Lab of Applied Experimental Psychology, School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China) (3 Capital Medical University, Beijing 100088, China)
  • Received:2013-05-28 Online:2014-07-15 Published:2014-07-15
  • Contact: WANG Jianping


Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) is a disturbance in which, following the death of a person close to the bereaved, there is persistent and pervasive yearning or longing for the deceased that extends beyond 6 months after the loss and that is sufficiently severe to cause significant impairment in the person’s functioning. This kind of pathological grief reactions didn’t draw clinical psychologists’ attention until recent two decades. We begin with the development of PGD, as well as discussions on diagnosis of Persistent Complex Bereavement-Related Disorder (PCBRD). By distinguishing PGD from normal grief, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, researcher developed distinct diagnostic criteria, assessment, and epidemiology for PGD. We then review both theoretical and empirical studies on pathological mechanism, aiming at integrating intervention suggestions. Finally, we outline directions for further studies on cross-cultural validation of diagnostic criteria, theories and research of mechanism.

Key words: prolonged grief disorder, diagnosis and assessment, epidemiology, pathological mechanism