Bereavement hits harder on those who believe in fate

C. Harry HUI, Sing-Hang CHEUNG, Esther Yuet Ying LAU, Doris Shui Ying MOK, Shu-Fai CHEUNG, Yuen Wai KWAN

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5 Citations (Scopus)


The trajectory of bereaved people's psychological symptoms has not been fully understood. This study examined how the effects of bereavement change over time, as moderated by a belief in fate control, which is the recognition that events are predetermined by some impersonal forces, and that there are ways to influence these fated outcomes. In this controlled group prospective study, 2,077 Chinese responded to six waves of survey. They completed the fate control scale at Wave 1, and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales at Waves 2 through 6. At Wave 3, 198 reported having lost a family member recently. Fate control predicted depressive mood at all four post-loss measurements, anxiety at three post-loss measurements, and stress at two post-loss measurements. Bereavement status predicted the psychological symptoms only at Wave 3. Latent growth modeling showed that the bereaved people's mood trajectory depended on whether they believed in fate. In particular, there was an interaction effect between bereavement status and fate control on the latent linear growth factor, and also on the latent quadratic growth factor, of depressive mood. The harmful effects of holding a strong belief in fate control on depressive mood are aggravated by a loss experience. Copyright © 2016 Guilford Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-628
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


Hui, C. H., Cheung, S.-H., Lau, E. Y. Y., Mok, D. S. Y., Cheung, S.-F., & Kwan, Y. W. (2016). Bereavement hits harder on those who believe in fate. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 35(8), 609-628.


  • Fatalism
  • Longitudinal study
  • Depressive mood
  • Anxiety
  • Stress


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