Thus far, we have considered the behaviors people show when they are dealing with grief. We have also seen that these behaviors change over time. How does this happen? How can we explain the grieving process?

Numerous theories have been proposed to acc­ount for the grieving process, such as general life event theories, psychodynamic theories, attachment theories, and cognitive process theories (M. Stroebe & Schut, 2001). All of these approaches to grief are based on more general theories, which results in none of them providing an adequate explanation of the grieving process. Two integrative approaches have been proposed that are specific to the grief process: the four component model and the dual process model of coping with bereavement.

The Four Component Model. The four component model proposes that understanding grief is based on four things: (1) the context of the loss, referring to the risk factors such as whether the death was expected; (2) continuation of subjective meaning associated with loss, ranging from evaluations of everyday concerns to major questions about the meaning of life; (3) changing representations of the

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