Mental stress and grief over the sudden death of a loved one


Mental stress, a psychological form of stress, often stems from one’s ability to cope with certain environmental changes (Greenberg et al., 2002). The objective of this research was to study the relationship between grief and mental stress in a naturalistic encironment. Data was collected from YouTube footage of celebrity funerals and funeral homes. Grief was operationalized as the number of times a participant had tears in their eyes or face while mental stress was operationalized as the frequency of participants’ display of a tense facial expression or physical action. Results demonstrated that grief was significantly positively correlated with mental stress. This supports the theory that when one experiences high levels of grief, they also experience high levels of mental stress. Future research is needed to establish causation and directionality of the relationship between grief and mental stress. This would be beneficial because it may allow for psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists to work with those experiencing grief, as well as how it impacts their mental health and functioning in daily life.


Poster created for PSYC300 in spring 2022 and presented at the 2022 UMD undergraduate research day.