Child Psychiatry and Human Development

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 267–281

Adolescent bereavement following the death of a parent: An exploratory study

  • Emily S. Harris

DOI: 10.1007/BF00705931

Cite this article as:
Harris, E.S. Child Psych Hum Dev (1991) 21: 267. doi:10.1007/BF00705931


Eleven healthy adolescents, ages 13–18, were followed through the year following parental death. Semi-structured interviews were used in combination with standardized measures to complete in-depth evaluations at 6 weeks, 7 months and 13 months following parental death. Teacher reports and parent interviews and reports provided additional information. Initial responses were characterized by intense emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioral reactions associated with impaired school performance, strained peer relations, and sleep disturbances. Stress related symptoms were prominent and sustained. Overall, subjects reported a higher sustained degree of distress than adult children following the loss of a parent. Prominent themes are reviewed. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Key words

Adolescent bereavement grief parental death 

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily S. Harris
    • 2
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSan Francisco
  2. 2.Division of Child Psychiatry and Child Development at Stanford UniversityStanford
  3. 3.Children's Hospital at StanfordPalo Alto

Personalised recommendations