Psychosocial Needs of Bereaved Spouses in Nigeria: Implications for Grief Counselling Intervention


  • Shuaib A. Muhammed



Spousal death is a traumatic life event which engenders different reactions. It becomes more challenging when psychosocial needs are inadequate. This study examined the psychosocial needs of bereaved spouses in Nigeria. The research method adopted for this study was descriptive survey. The population of the study consisted of 1,924,301 bereaved spouses in Nigeria. Purposive and proportional sampling techniques were adopted in selecting a total sample of 1,594 bereaved spouses across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria. The Psychosocial Needs of Bereaved Spouses Scale was used for data collection. Means, percentages, rank order, t-test, and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) statistical measures were used to analyze the data collected for the study. The findings of the study revealed that respondents needed to acquire a job to sustain the family, raise finances for family upkeep, pay house bills and deal with widowhood isolation, among others. Also, age at bereavement, length of years of loss and nature of death had significant influences on respondents’ psychosocial needs, while gender and religious affiliations had no significant influence on the psychosocial needs of the respondents. The study concluded that respondents’ psychosocial needs were high. The implication is that bereaved spouses need better psychosocial supports to facilitate better adjustments. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended, among others, that counsellors should provide relevant community-based intervention programs and support services to assist bereaved spouses of different age groups, length of years of loss and nature of death, religion, and gender to meet their varying needs.