Bereavement in childhood, particularly the loss of a parent, represents a significant adversity, although the majority of bereaved children do not develop other than transient symptoms. Nevertheless there is evidence that a brief preventive intervention can reduce subsequent morbidity, and the task for the future is to develop tools for accurately predicting those who are likely to be at highest risk. A start has been made using a parental screening instrument developed by Worden and his colleagues.(37> Children who lose a parent through suicide, homicide, accident, or disaster, especially if they have witnessed the death, are at high risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder and their treatment needs should be assessed by mental health professionals.

Chapter References

1. Black, D. and Young, B. (1995). Bereaved children: risk and preventive intervention. In Handbook of studies in preventive psychiatry (ed. B. Raphael and G. Burrows), pp. 225-44. Elsevier, Oxford.

2. Kreitman, N. (1989). Mental health for all. British Medical Journal, 299, 1292-3.

3. Parkes, C.M. (1980). Bereavement counselling: does it work? British Medical Journal, 281, 3-6.

4. Young, B. and Black, D. (1997). Bereavement counselling. In Psychological trauma: a developmental approach (ed. D. Black, J. Harris Hendriks, M. Newman, and G. Mezey), pp. 250-63. Gaskell, London.

5. Kranzler, E., Shaffer, D., Wasserman, G., and Davies, M. (1990). Early childhood bereavement. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 513-20.

6. Rutter, M. (1985). Resilience in the face of adversity: protective factors and resistance to psychiatric disorder. British Journal of Psychiatry, 147, 598-611.

7. Rutter, M. (1966). Children of sick parents. Oxford University Press.

8. Silverman, P. and Worden, J. (1992). Children's reactions in the early months after the death of a parent. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 62, 93-104.

9. Worden, J., and Silverman, P. (1997). Parental death and the adjustment of school-age children. Omega—Journal of Death and Dying, 33, 91-102.

10. Weller, R., Weller, E., Fristad, M., and Bowes, J. (1991). Depression in recently bereaved prepubertal children. American Journal of Psychiatry, 148, 1536-40.

11. Fristad, M., Jedel, R., Weller, R., and Weller, E. (1993). Psychological functioning in children after the death of a parent. American Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 511-13.

12. Goodyer, I.M. (1990). Annotation: recent life events and psychiatric disorder in school age children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 31, 839-48.

13. Tennant, C., Bebbington, P., and Hurry, J. (1980). Parental death in childhood and risk for adult depressive disorder: a review. Psychological Medicine, 10, 289-99.

14. Black, D. (1978). Annotation: the bereaved child. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 19, 287-92.

15. Harris, T., Brown, G., and Bifulco, A. (1986). Loss of parent in childhood and adult psychiatric disorder: the role of lack of adequate parental care. Psychological Medicine, 16, 641-59.

16. Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and loss, Vol. 3. Hogarth Press, London.

17. Parkes, C.M., Laungani, P., and Young, B. (ed.) (1997). Death and bereavement across cultures. Routledge, London.

18. Furman, E. (1974). A child's parent dies. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT.

19. Van Eerdewegh, M., Clayton, P., and Van Eerdewegh, P. (1985). The bereaved child: variables influencing early psychopathology. British Journal of Psychiatry, 147, 188-94.

20. Cathcart, F. (1988). Seeing the body after death (editorial). British Medical Journal, 297, 997-8.

21. Weller, E., Weller, R., Fristad, M., Cain, S., and Bowes, J. (1988). Should children attend their parent's funeral? Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27, 559-62.

22. Gregory, I. (1965). Anterospective data following the childhood loss of a parent. Archives of General Psychiatry, 13, 99-109.

23. Kloeppel, D. and Hollins, S. (1989). Double handicap: mental retardation and death in the family. Death Studies, 13, 31-8.

24. Siegel, D. (1997). Memory and trauma. In Psychological trauma: a developmental approach (ed. D. Black, J. Harris Hendriks, M. Newman, and G. Mezey), pp. 44-53. Gaskell, London.

25. Pynoos, R. (1996). Exposure to catastrophic violence and disaster in childhood. In Severe stress and mental disturbance in children (ed. C. Pfeffer), pp. 181-208. American Psychiatric Press, Washington, DC.

26. Pettle Michael, S. and Lansdown, R. (1986). Adjustment to the death of a sibling. Archives of Diseases of Childhood, 61, 278-83.

27. Hogan, N. and DeSantis, L. (1996). Adolescent sibling bereavement. In Handbook of adolescent death and bereavement (ed. C. Corr and D. Balk), pp. 173-95. Springer, New York.

28. Brent, D., Perper, J., Moritz, G., et al. (1992). Psychiatric effects of exposure to suicide among the friends and acquaintances of adolescent suicide victims. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 31, 629-39.

29. Black, D. and Urbanowicz, M.A. (1985). Bereaved children—family intervention. In Recent research in developmental psychopathology (ed. J. Stevenson), pp. 179-87. Pergamon, Oxford.

30. Black, D. and Urbanowicz, M.A. (1987). Family intervention with bereaved children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 28, 467-76.

31. Lansdown, R. and Benjamin, G. (1985). The development of the concept of death in children aged 5-9 years. Child Care Health Development, 11, 13-20.

32. Rosenheim, E. and Reicher, R. (1985). Informing children about a parent's terminal illness. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 26, 995-8.

33. Black, D. (1981). Mourning and the family. In Developments in family therapy (ed. S. Walrond-Skinner), pp. 189-201. Routledge, London.

34. Morrison Tonkins, S. and Lambert, M. (1996). A treatment outcome study of bereavement groups for children. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 13, 3-21.

35. Stokes, J. and Crossley, D. (1995). Camp Winston. In Interventions with bereaved children (ed. S. Smith and M. Pennells), pp. 172-92. Jessica Kingsley, London.

36. Black, D. (1997). Treatment of children and families. In Psychological trauma: a developmental approach (ed. D. Black, J. Harris Hendriks, M. Newman, and G. Mezey), pp. 281-6. Gaskell, London.

37. Worden, J. (1996). Children and grief: when a parent dies, p. 178. Guilford Press, New York.

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