Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 413–415 | Cite as

W. Feigelman, J. R. Jordan, J. L. McIntosh and B. Feigelman: Devastating Losses—How Parents Cope with the Death of a Child to Suicide or Drugs

Springer Publishing Company, New York, NY, 2012, 338 pp
  • David S. Byers
Book Review

Clinical and social science researchers have paid little attention to the experiences of parents grieving the loss of children to suicide, despite the fact that suicide is one of the leading causes of death for adolescents, and each death by suicide leaves an estimated 6–10 survivors (Jordan and McMenamy 2004). In 2003, the National Institutes of Mental Health attempted to address this gap, organizing the “Research on Survivors of Suicide Workshop” (NIMH 2003) to encourage studies of family wellbeing after the loss of a child to suicide. The large study reported on in Devastating Losses (Feigelman et al. 2012) represents a substantial and important response to this call, with findings that are both clinically relevant and likely to inspire future research related to grieving parents.

The book takes on particular urgency not only because of the compelling and long neglected topic area, but also because the first and fourth authors—sociologist William Feigelman and clinical social worker...


  1. Feigelman, W., Jordan, J. R., McIntosh, J. L., & Feigelman, B. (2012). Devastating losses: How parents cope with the death of a child to suicide and drugs. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  2. Jordan, J. R., & McMenamy, J. (2004). Interventions for suicide survivors: A review of the literature. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 34, 337–349.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Meyer, I. H. (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 129(5), 674–697. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.129.5.674.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. National Institute of Mental Health. (2003). Research on survivors of suicide workshop. Retrieved October 16, 2012 from
  5. Pascoe, E. A., & Richman, L. S. (2009). Perceived discrimination and health: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 531–554.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Poussaint, A., & Alexander, A. (2000). Lay my burden down: Unraveling suicide and the mental health crisis among African Americans. Boston: Beacon.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Smith College School for Social WorkNorthamptonUSA
  2. 2.Wentworth Institute of TechnologyBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations