Personal growth in the transition to parenthood following recent parental loss.

Ofir Ben-Yaakov, Orit Taubman - Ben-Ari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Although the factors associated with personal growth (PG) in the transition to parenthood have been studied in recent years, the impact of a previous stressful event has been rarely considered. This study explores the possibility that parents who lost their own parent in the years leading up to the birth of their first child will report enhanced PG. It examines the unique and combined contribution to PG in the transition to parenthood of recent parental loss, as well as the bond with the parents, the internal resource of meaning in life, and basic demographic variables. Method: Self-report questionnaires were completed by 224 Israeli parents up to 1 year following the birth of their first child. Of these, 112 had lost one of their parents during the past 7 years and 112 had not. Results: Hierarchical regression revealed that the recent loss of a parent contributed significantly to greater PG. In addition, higher PG was associated with younger age, higher presence of meaning in life, search for meaning, and perceived maternal care, and lower paternal overprotection. Conclusions: The study extends knowledge of PG among new parents, indicating that it may be related to the parent’s personal circumstances, and specifically to a previous stressful event in their lives, and their relationships with their own parents. On the practical level, understanding the consequences of parental loss for PG in the transition to parenthood can help professionals develop specially designed interventions for new parents who have recently lost a parent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-504
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Psychological Association


  • meaning in life
  • parental bond
  • parental loss
  • parents
  • personal growth


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