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The most common tools for assessing grief and loss focus on death-related loss. The Reactions to Loss Scale (RTL) broadens the scope of bereavement measures to include reactions to non-death losses. The population targeted by this measure, emerging adults (college students), commonly experiences a myriad of both death-related and non-death losses. The validity of the Reactions to Loss Scale (RTL) is investigated in 4 studies. Factor analysis of the 65-item RTL (N=564) identified 3 subscales, each demonstrating good reliability. In the first 3 studies, the RTL was found to be related to depression, anxiety, negative affect, and positive measures of satisfaction with life, happiness, and positive affect. In Study 4, prospective data was utilized to evaluate predictive validity. These data found that the RTL was predictive of longitudinal changes in negative affect, perceived social support, satisfaction with life, and positive feelings about the specific loss.


Eric Cooley, Tamina Toray, Lauren Roscoe. Reactions to Loss Scale: assessing grief in college students. Omega. 2010;61(1):25-51

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PMID: 20533647

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