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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200973 Find in a Library
Title: Sibling Loss: Grief, Mourning and Recovery (From Child Abuse and Neglect: Guidelines for Identification, Assessment, and Case Management, P 230-235, 2003, Marilyn Strachan Peterson and Michael Durfee, eds. -- See NCJ-200932)
Author(s): Carol A. Johnson-Schroetlin Psy.D; Anthony J. Urquiza Ph.D.; Michael Durfee M.D.; Linda Garcia M.A.
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Volcano Press, Inc
Volcano, CA 95689
Sale Source: Volcano Press, Inc
P.O. Box 270
Volcano, CA 95689
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview; Literature Review
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter reviews the literature pertinent to the grief, mourning, and recovery of children who experience the death of a sibling and discusses the responsibilities of professionals in responding to such children.
Abstract: Although there is no literature on the psychological reactions of children who lose a sibling through non-accidental death, there is limited research on children who have experienced the death of a sibling during childhood, and retrospective studies have focused on adults interviewed about their loss of a sibling during childhood. Children who had experienced a sibling loss exhibited higher internalizing behavior problems, such as sadness, depression, anxiety, fear, and guilt. Children have also described having confused and distorted concepts of illness, death, and the relationship between the two. Some studies found that guilt was often present for 5 years or more after a sibling's death. Children and adults who have experienced a death of a sibling during childhood report that the ability to avoid feelings and to be stoic was highly valued. Other reactions to sibling loss have included psychosomatic complaints, the re-experiencing of trauma, anniversary reactions, the lack of emotional support, and the desire to have contact with other children who have similar experiences. The chapter advises that children who experience the death of a sibling have a strong need for emotional support and should not be left to resolve the issues by themselves. Further, psychic trauma in response to the loss of a sibling must be recognized. Children's needs are greater when a family member or significant person is a suspect in the death of the sibling. The chapter also briefly discusses the needs of children in placement due to the death of a sibling and provides guidelines for working with bereaved children, as well as recommendations for intervention with children and families. Recommendations for protocols and practice standards are also offered. Seven relevant case vignettes with follow-up questions are provided. 26 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child abuse fatalities; Child fatalities; Homicide Co-Survivors; Psychological victimization effects; Survivors services; Victim counseling; Victim services
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