by William Worden
Children and Grief will advance the reader's understanding of the impact and needs of children who have had a parent die. The author goes beyond simply sharing the results of a longitudinal study, which in itself would be helpful. He also identifies those most at risk, and discusses models for interventions. -Donna L. Schuurman, Ed.D., Executive Director, The Dougy Center for Grieving Children, Portland OR
- How do children mourn when a parent dies?
- Does grief in children differ from that of adults?
- Can the "tasks of mourning" be applied to children?
- How can we best help bereaved children?
Drawing upon extensive interviews and assessments of school-aged children who have lost a parent to death, this book offers a richly textured portrait of the mourning process in children. This volume presents major findings from the Harvard Child Bereavement Study and places them in the context of previous research, shedding new light on both the wide range of normal variation in children's experiences of grief and the factors that put bereaved children at risk.
Part One describes in detail what happens to children and their families when a parent dies, and follows the mourning process in 125 children over a 2-year period. Chapters comparing these children to a control group of non-bereaved children identify major factors that influence the course and outcome of a child's adjustment to loss. These include the nature of the death itself and the importance of the rituals surrounding it; how the surviving parent responds to the death; and the age, gender, and other characteristics of the individual child. The book also identifies when children are most likely to be at risk for poor adaptation.
Exploring different experiences of loss, Part Two compares children who have suffered the death of a parent to those faced with other types of losses: the death of a sibling and the loss of a parent to divorce. In Part Three, the clinical implications of the research findings are discussed and ways to help bereaved children are presented. This section outlines the needs of bereaved children, reviews various intervention models, and suggests activities that can be used to facilitate the various tasks of mourning. In a moving epilogue, bereaved children draw from their own experiences as they offer wise counsel to other children who may face the death of a parent. An appendix offers a screening instrument for the early identification of children at risk.
225 pages; 6 X 9;hard bound
ONE: Children and Their Families in Mourning
- The Mouring Process for Children
- When a Parent Dies
- How Life Changes
- How the Child Responds
- Mediators of the Child's Bereavement Experience
- Children at Risk
TWO: Comparative Losses
- When a Sibling Dies
- The Loss of a Parent by Divorce
THREE: How We Can Help Bereaved Children
- Counseling and Intervention Issues
- Intervention Models and Activities
- Appendix A: Project Assessment Instruments
- Appendix B: Screening Instrument and Scoring Instructions
- Suggested Readings
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