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Death of a Parent

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Table of Contents

1. Ordinary loss, extraordinary change; 2. Unexpected crisis; 3. Symbolic loss; 4. Turning point in adulthood; 5. Intimate relationships; 6. The next generation; 7. The parent left behind; 8. My brother's keeper; 9. Rite of passage; Appendix: data and methods; Notes; Index.

About the Author

Debra Umberson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. She is an expert on intimate relationships and health. Using in-depth interviews and national surveys, she explains why the death of a parent has strong effects on adults, often for the worse, but sometimes for the better. She has written numerous articles on marriage and divorce, parent/child relationships, and how gender roles impact men's and women's health. She is currently writing a book about couples in long term relationships, highlighting the challenges of maintaining sexual and emotional intimacy over the life course.


'Umberson comes to some truly illuminating conclusions ... This clear insightful study provides a unique combination of research-based self-help and scholarly enterprise. Highly recommended ...' Library Journal 'Provides a welcome benchmark for future research on the impact of a parent's death on an adult child. It covers a wide range of topics, and thoughtfully considers implications of the findings ... Should be of considerable interest to those who are doing research or are involved in clinical practice concerning dying, death, and bereavement.' Death Studies 'A book to be taken seriously. With so much richness of ideas, such diversity of issues addressed, and based on so much data, this book is essential reading for anyone who researches or teaches about bereavement following the death of a parent. Furthermore, this will be a useful, perhaps even cherished book for many who struggle personally with the death of a parent.' Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 'A very comprehensive review ... Umberson has provided an interesting work which spans various concerns that adults, from varying backgrounds and ages, have experienced with the loss of a parent ... impressive ... well organized ... Umberson's research makes powerful statements that resonate with one's own experiences.' Journal of Marriage and Family

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