Health Satisfaction of Emerging Adults who Experienced the Loss of a Parent in Childhood and Adolescence

Vida Vasilj, Kristina Sesar, Anita Lauri Korajlija


Objective − The aim of this research was to evaluate the physical and mental health of emerging adults who lost a parent before the age of 18, and to examine the predictors of satisfaction with physical and mental health. Materials and

Methods − The subjects who participated in this study were emerging adults (18-29 years of age) from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. For this study, the equivalent pairs method was used - participants who had experienced the death of a parent were matched with those who had not experienced such a loss in relation to the variables of sex, age, and socioeconomic status, comprising a sample of 29 pairs, i.e., 58 subjects - 50 women and 8 men. The research was conducted via an online questionnaire. Participants completed the Psychosomatic Symptoms Questionnaire, CORE-OM questionnaire for evaluation of general psychopathological difficulties, and were asked to rate their satisfaction with their physical and mental health.

Results − The results show no statistically significant difference between the two groups in the levels of satisfaction with physical health, the presence of physical symptoms, and the presence of general psychopathological difficulties. A statistically significant difference was found between the groups in the level of satisfaction with mental health - those who had experienced the loss of a parent reported lower satisfaction with their mental health. The experience of the loss of a parent explained their mental health satisfaction level, above the results of the standardized measures of mental health.

Conclusion − The results indicate the need for assessing levels of satisfaction with mental health beyond the assessment of levels of general psychopatological symptoms when working with adults who experienced the early death of a parent.


Early Loss of a Parent; Physical Health; Mental Health; Health Satisfaction; Emerging Adulthood

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