The role of faith in the experience of grief among sexually diverse individuals: a systematic review

Pentaris, Panagiotis; Patlamazoglou, Lefteris and Schaub, Jason. 2023. The role of faith in the experience of grief among sexually diverse individuals: a systematic review. Psychology & Sexuality, 14(4), pp. 640-656. ISSN 1941-9899 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This Prisma-compliant review summarizes the intersections of faith, grief, and sexes, or sexualities. Following the protocol, the authors searched 11 electronic databases and three publisher collections. The search was limited to empirical research published in English between 1980 and July 2020 that explored the impact of faith, religion, or spirituality on the grief experiences of sexually diverse individuals. After reviewing abstracts and full texts, from a total of 5,670 papers, five met the selection criteria and were systematically reviewed and quality assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme. Thematic analysis found that rituals and rites of passage were seen to assist the sexually diverse bereaved in maintaining valuable connections with the deceased, accepting the finality of the loss, accessing social support, and making meaning through bereavement. Prominent in the reviewed literature were the strategies of spiritual coping, primarily by facilitated personal and spiritual growth, beliefs in spiritual transcendence, and spiritual resources. Of particular note, was that all the studies were conducted in the ?90s and did not include transgender or nonbinary participants leading to significant gaps in our understanding. Further research is needed to investigate the current interplay between faith and grief across gender identity and sexuality spectrums.

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Identification Number (DOI):


systematic review; faith; religion; spirituality; grief; LGBTQIA+; sexually diverse

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Faiths and Civil Society
Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Social Work


18 March 2022Accepted
3 April 2022Published Online

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Date Deposited:

10 Oct 2022 08:29

Last Modified:

08 Jan 2024 13:13

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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