Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief

The five stages of grief, is a stage theory formulated by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, describing stages that people experience when facing their own death. The stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (1).

Since proposing her theory, psychologists have observed that not all terminally ill people will necessarily experience these stages, and age, situation and cultural context seem to play an important role. The theory may be best applicable to people facing death at a young age (2).


1. K├╝bler-Ross, E. (1969) “On Death and Dying“, Routledge

2. Franzoi, S. L. (2010) Psychology: A Discovery Experience. (p. 298). Manson, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning