16. Children Bereaved by Parent or Sibling Death

  1. David Skuse1,2,
  2. Helen Bruce3,4,
  3. Linda Dowdney1 and
  4. David Mrazek5
  1. Linda Dowdney

Published Online: 31 MAY 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781119993971.ch16

Child Psychology and Psychiatry: Frameworks for Practice, Second Edition

Child Psychology and Psychiatry: Frameworks for Practice, Second Edition

How to Cite

Dowdney, L. (2011) Children Bereaved by Parent or Sibling Death, in Child Psychology and Psychiatry: Frameworks for Practice, Second Edition (eds D. Skuse, H. Bruce, L. Dowdney and D. Mrazek), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119993971.ch16

Editor Information

  1. 1

    Institute of Child Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London, WC1N 1EH, UK

  2. 2

    Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, UK

  3. 3

    East London NHS Foundation Trust, UK

  4. 4

    London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK

  5. 5

    Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA

Author Information

  1. Institute of Child Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London, WC1N 1EH, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 31 MAY 2011
  2. Published Print: 17 JUN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470973820

Online ISBN: 9781119993971

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Keywords:

  • bereaved children;
  • interventions with bereaved children;
  • parent and sibling death;
  • resilience and pathology in bereaved children

Summary

The expression of grief in children bereaved by the death of a parent or sibling is affected by their understanding of death and their developmental level. Most children are resilient when bereaved, and their adaptation is facilitated by positive and authoritative parenting. The outcome of the one in five children who develop psychiatric disorder is affected by their age, sex, parental mental health and other family factors. The effectiveness of community interventions with bereaved children is considered. Although the majority of bereaved children do not require professional help, guidelines are given as to when referral to mental health services should be considered. Interventions need to take into account the cultural and religious beliefs of bereaved families.