Japanese Journal of Social Psychology
Online ISSN : 2189-1338
Print ISSN : 0916-1503
ISSN-L : 0916-1503
The meaning of mementos and continuing bonds with the deceased
Yuko ShiraiwaMana KurimotoKaori Karasawa
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2020 Volume 36 Issue 2 Pages 49-57


The items left by the deceased are often referred to as inherited items, of which those of particular importance are sometimes called mementos. In this study, to examine our predictions that some of the meaning bereaved families find in mementos are related to their continuing bonds with the deceased, we asked 250 adult men and women who had experienced the deaths of people important to them to cooperate in a questionnaire. It was shown that a memento mainly contains four meanings: 1) substance/functionality, 2) emotional/relationship-oriented, 3) respect for the will, and 4) symbolic of loss. Of these, 2) emotional/relationship-oriented and 3) respect for the will are positively related to the continuing bonds. These suggest that the meaning a bereaved family finds in a memento may be a rough indication of the progress of mourning.

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© 2020 The Japanese Society of Social Psychology
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