International Journal of
Psychology and Counselling

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Psychol. Couns.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2499
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 222

Full Length Research Paper

Loss and grief counseling as a coping mechanism of widowhood: A comparative study of widowers and widows in Meru County Kenya

Beatrice M. Mburugu
  • Beatrice M. Mburugu
  • Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and social sciences, Chuka University, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 18 June 2020
  •  Accepted: 26 August 2020
  •  Published: 31 October 2020


Widowhood has been on increase globally and Kenya as nation is not exceptional. The state of widowhood globally has been made worse during this period of Corona Virus Disease which started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 (WHO, 2019). Losing a spouse through death is quite emotive and may affect the bereaved persons’ psychosocial wellbeing as well as coping mechanism. In Meru community of Kenya, few researches have been done on counselling as a coping mechanism of widowhood. The study’s main purpose was to determine how loss and grief   counselling is used as a coping mechanism by comparing widowers and widows in Meru County Kenya. A descriptive survey was employed in the study where ex post facto’s causal-comparative research design was appropriately used. A total population of 80,332 widowed persons   in Meru County was targeted. For comparison purposes, a total sample size of 384 respondents was used; half from each gender. Questionnaires and Focus Group Discussions were used to collect data from respondents based on gender. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were employed. Widows sought for loss and grief counselling more at 61% than widowers   at 47 % and from FGDs more than 70% and less than 20% respectively. From t-test results there was a statistically significant difference which favored widows than widowers in seeking for counselling services. In conclusion, the study findings may assist the widows and widowers to seek timely loss and grief counselling services as a positive coping mechanism.


Key words: Widowhood, loss and grief counselling, coping mechanism, psychosocial wellbeing, widow/ widowers.