Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Winston Seegobin, PsyD

Second Advisor

Luann Foster, PsyD

Third Advisor

Daniel Rodriguez, PsyD


Complicated grief as a diagnosis has been in development in the United States and United Kingdom since World War II through the utilization of diagnostic manuals, resulting in grief being commonly explored from an intervention standpoint. The inclusion of prolonged grief disorder in the International Classification of Disease (11th ed.; ICD-11; World Health Organization, 2020) and in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5 TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2022) has instigated a debate on whether these complicated grief disorders are culturally appropriate and sensitive with the consensus that generally providers advocate for a diagnosis, but not without caveats. Since this study has begun, prolonged grief disorder has been included in the DSM-5 TR. Previously, mental health professionals' attitudes and the public outside of the United States towards complicated grief and prolonged grief disorder have been evaluated through surveys to assess their attitudes on the issue. The present study’s purpose was to qualitatively evaluate doctoral clinical psychology students’ attitudes towards complicated grief to assess their ability to hold the breadth of grieving processes and pinpoint the potential lack of education around grief in clinical psychology programs. Results indicated six themes that are normal grieving, pathology and grieving, complex grief, severity of grief, personal experiences with grieving, and treatment of grief. Implications are also discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons