Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 137–161 | Cite as

Adolescents' grief reactions and self-concept perceptions following sibling death: A study of 33 teenagers

  • David Balk


Thirty-three teenagers were interviewed regarding their grief reactions and self-concept perceptions following sibling death. The teenagers also completed the Offer Self-Image Questionnaire for Adolescents (OSIQ). Grief reactions investigated were emotional responses, extent of preoccupations with thoughts of the dead sibling, effects on sleeping and eating habits, anniversary reactions, hallucinations of the dead sibling, thoughts of suicide, and effects on grades and study habits. In addition to OSIQ data, self-concept measures included self-concept in common contexts, perceptions of personal maturity, lessons learned from the sibling's death, relationship with the sibling prior to the death, and importance of religious beliefs. Results oft tests on OSIQ standard scores indicated that the participants were as adjusted as same-age same-sex norm groups. Chi-square analysis and univariateF tests of group differences identified emotional responses significantly associated with sex and age characteristics of the participants. Statistically significant results emerged regarding effects on grades and study habits, perceptions of personal maturity, and increased importance of religious beliefs. Discriminant analysis indicated that specific emotional responses were influenced by perceptions of family closeness and by perceptions of personal communication with family members. Two case descriptions highlight some of the typical patterns which the teenagers experienced.


Discriminant Analysis Norm Group Religious Belief Emotional Response Typical Pattern 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Balk
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.La Frontera CenterTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of ArizonaUSA

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