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Research Article

Bereavement: Contemporary Scientific Perspectives for Researchers and Practitioners


Emmanuelle Zech ,

Research Institute of Psychological Sciences, Université catholique de Louvain, BE
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Margaret Stroebe

Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Utrecht University, NL
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The death rate within the European Union is 9.6/1000, which is about the same as it is in North America (8.4 for 2009 in the Unites States of America, see CIA World Factbook, 2010). In concrete terms, this means that about 100,000 of the total population of 10 million Belgian people die each year (in fact, the death rate in Belgium is a bit higher, 10.5/1000). The 2001 the Belgian Health Interview Survey indicated that the relationship or social support network of Belgian citizens is composed of a mean number of 9 persons (Gisle, Buziarsist, Van der Heyden, Demarest, Miermans, Sartor et al., 2002). As a consequence, a rough estimation of the number of persons who become bereaved each year in Belgium is 945,000 (i.e., 9.5% of the Belgian population). In fact, the death of a loved one is an experience that occurs some time or other in nearly everyone’s life. Many of us will suffer multiple losses long before we reach old age, when such events occur with increasing frequency. We will lose our grandparents, parents, siblings, or close friends and romantic partners through death. Bereavement is a very frequent phenomenon, and as the contributions to this Special Issue will make amply clear, it is a personally impactful life event for most people.

How to Cite: Zech, E. and Stroebe, M., 2010. Bereavement: Contemporary Scientific Perspectives for Researchers and Practitioners. Psychologica Belgica, 50(1-2), pp.1–6. DOI:
Published on 01 Sep 2010.
Peer Reviewed


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