Social comparisons and well-being following widowhood and divorce

Hasida Ben-Zur, Keren Michael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A sample of 196 participants (mean age 45.94 years, 54% women) completed inventories assessing upward and downward positive and negative social comparisons and general well-being. Widows and widowers were higher on upward negative comparisons than divorced or married persons while being lower on well-being measures of life satisfaction and psychosocial adjustment. The divorced were higher than the widowed or married people on upward or downward positive social comparisons. Upward negative social comparisons were associated with lower levels of well-being measures whereas upward positive social comparisons showed an opposite tendency. Upward negative comparisons were found to mediate the effects of widowhood on well-being. It is concluded that cognitive adaptation contributes to the well-being of widowed and divorced persons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-238
Number of pages19
JournalDeath Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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