, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 179-195
Date: 08 Jun 2006

Mediation of the Effects of the Family Bereavement Program on Mental Health Problems of Bereaved Children and Adolescents

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This study presents an analysis of mediation of the effects of the Family Bereavement Program (FBP) to improve mental health outcomes of girls at 11 months following program participation. The FBP was designed based on a theory that program-induced change in multiple child and family level mediators would lead to reductions in children’s mental health problems. Mediational models were tested using a three wave and a two wave longitudinal design. Using a three wave longitudinal design, FBP effects on three variables at T2 (increased positive parenting, decreased negative events, and decreased inhibition of emotional expression) were found to mediate the effects of the FBP on mental health problems at 11-month follow-up. Using a two-wave longitudinal design, support was found for FBP effects on three additional variables at 11-month follow-up (increased positive coping, decreased negative thoughts about stressors, and decreased unknown control beliefs) to mediate program effects to reduce mental health problems at 11-month follow-up. The discussion focuses on theoretical explanations for the mediational effects and on implications for identifying “core components” of the FBP that are responsible for its effects to reduce mental health problems of girls.