Child & Youth Care Forum

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 489–506 | Cite as

Feasibility of a Multimedia Program for Parentally Bereaved Children

  • Claudio D. OrtizEmail author
  • Stephen J. Cozza
  • Carol S. Fullerton
  • Robert J. Ursano
Original Paper



Self-directed multimedia resources that provide psycho-educational information to selected populations have been supported in child health related areas including parenting skills in adults and literacy in children. Comparable programs for use with bereaved children and families have not been adequately developed or empirically examined. Examining usability and satisfaction with such materials is critical, especially when dealing with bereavement.


This study evaluated the feasibility of the multimedia kit “Talk, Listen, Connect III: When Families Grieve(TLC III)” for use with caregivers and their parentally bereaved children (ages 2–16 years). Primary outcomes included the utilization and overall satisfaction with the TLC III kit and the kit’s impact on caregiver–child communication. Secondary outcomes, engagement, family coping, and caregiver and child grief also were examined.


Ninety-three caregivers completed pre- and post-viewing questionnaires (59 in the TLC III group, 34 in the comparison group).


Caregiver’s who viewed the TLC III kit materials reported greater satisfaction with kit materials and greater impact on family coping with death than did caregivers who viewed the Ready kit. No significant differences were found with regard to pre- to post-test changes on any of the primary or secondary outcome measures after controlling for pretest scores.


Multimedia programs should be considered as adjuncts or alternatives to traditional therapies and further evaluated for use with parental bereavement; particularly among inaccessible segments of the population. Future studies should consider innovative approaches to examining the effects of such programs on complex problems faced by children.


Grief Bereavement Multimedia Self-directed Feasibility Pilot 



This research was supported as part of an unrestricted research services agreement funded by Sesame Workshop© (USUHS Site Number G188PG).


  1. Alessi, E. J., & Martin, J. I. (2010). Conducting and internet-based survey: Benefits, pitfalls, and lessons learned. Social Work Research, 34, 122–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Clay, R. (2011). Beyond psychotherapy: To meet the unmet demand for services, psychologists are seeking alternatives to traditional one-on-one therapy. Monitor on Psychology, 43, 45–50.Google Scholar
  3. Crenshaw, D. A., & Lee, J. (2010). The disenfranchised grief of children. In N. B. Webb (Ed.), Helping bereaved children: A handbook for practitioner (3rd ed., pp. 91–108). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  4. Currier, J. M., Holland, J. M., & Neimeyer, R. A. (2007). The effectiveness of bereavement interventions with children: A meta-analytic review of controlled outcome research. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 36, 253–259.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Deblinger, E., Cohen, J. A., & Mannarino, A. P. (2012). Introduction. In J. A. Cohen, A. P. Mannarino, & E. Deblinger (Eds.), Trauma-focused CBT for children and adolescents: Treatment applications (pp. 1–26). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  6. Dopp, A. R., & Cain, A. C. (2012). The role of peer relationships in parental bereavement during childhood and adolescence. Death Studies, 36, 41–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Finkelstein, H. (1988). The long-term effects of early parent death: A review. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44, 3–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fisch, S. M., & Truglio, R. T. (2001). Why children learn from Sesame Street. In S. M. Fisch & R. T. Truglio (Eds.), “G” is for growing: Thirty years of research on children and Sesame Street (pp. 233–244). Mahweh, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers.Google Scholar
  9. Gosling, S. D., Vazire, S., & John, O. P. (2004). Should we trust web-based studies? A comparative analysis of six preconceptions. American Psychologist, 59, 93–104.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Haine, R. A., Ayers, T. S., Sandler, I. N., & Wolchik, S. A. (2008). Evidence-based practices for parentally bereaved children and their families. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 39, 113–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hedges, L. V., & Olkin, I. (1985). Statistical methods for metaanalysis. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  12. Hollon, S. D., Muñoz, R. F., Barlow, D. H., Beardslee, W. R., Bell, C. C., Bernal, G., et al. (2002). Psychosocial intervention development for the prevention and treatment of depression: Promoting innovation and increasing access. Biological Psychiatry, 52, 610–630.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kazdin, A. E., & Blase, S. L. (2011). Rebooting psychotherapy research and practice to reduce the burden of mental illness. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6, 21–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Layne, C. M., Saltzman, W. R., Steinberg, A. M., & Pynoos, R. S. (2007). UCLA Grief Screening manual. LA: University of California.Google Scholar
  15. Morawska, A., Stallman, H. M., Sanders, M. R., & Ralph, A. (2005). Self-directed behavioral family intervention: Do therapists matter? Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 27, 51–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Palmer, E. L., & Fisch, S. M. (2001). The beginnings of Sesame Street research. In S. M. Fisch & R. T. Truglio (Eds.), “G” is for growing: Thirty years of research on children and Sesame Street (pp. 233–244). Mahweh, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers.Google Scholar
  17. Rausch, J. R., Maxwell, S. E., & Kelley, K. (2003). Analytic methods for questions pertaining to a randomized pretest, posttest, follow-up design. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Pscyhology, 32, 467–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Raveis, V. H., Siegle, K., & Karus, D. (1999). Children’s psychological distress following the death of a parent. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 28, 165–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Reinherz, H. Z., Giaconia, R. M., Carmola, A. M., Wasserman, M. S., & Paradis, A. D. (2000). General and specific childhood risk factors for depression and drug disorders by early adulthood. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 223–231.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Saldinger, A., Porterfield, K., & Cain, A. C. (2004). Meeting the needs of parentally bereaved children: A framework for child-centered parenting. Psychiatry, 67, 331–352.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Sanders, M., & Prinz, R. (2008). Using mass media as a population level strategy to strengthen parenting skills. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 37, 609–621.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Shear, K. M., Jackson, C. T., Essock, S. M., Donahue, S. A., & Felton, C. J. (2006). Screening for complicated grief among Project Liberty service recipients 18 months after September 11, 2001. Psychiatric Services, 57, 1291–1397.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudio D. Ortiz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stephen J. Cozza
    • 1
  • Carol S. Fullerton
    • 1
  • Robert J. Ursano
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for the Study of Traumatic StressUniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesdaUSA

Personalised recommendations