Investingating the effects of personality and social support on meaning-making after the loss of a spouse
This study examined the impact of individual demographic characteristics (i.e., age and gender), personality traits, and social integration on meaning-making after the death of a spouse. Secondary data were used from the Changing Lives of Older Couples sample (CLOC; Wortman, 1992). These data were collected from mostly White individuals in three metropolitan counties in Detroit, Michigan. Regression analyses were conducted to investigate the influence of hypothesized predictors on meaning-making as assessed six months following the loss. The findings indicated that personality and social integration did not have a significant effect on meaning making; however, the results did indicate that age was positively related to meaning. Additional analysis was conducted for the individual items from the meaning-making scale as the dependent variables. A limitation of this study was concerning reliability for the personality measures Extraversion and Openness. Future research should utilize scales with higher reliability in assessing the five dimensions of personality.