New Resources on Adolescent Grief and Bereavement

Share Article

Grief and bereavement can be especially difficult for adolescents. Understanding how youth experience bereavement is vital for professionals and other adults called upon to support young people. New resources on adolescent grief and bereavement are featured in the current issue of The Prevention Researcher, the quarterly journal focused on successful adolescent development.

The Prevention Researcher

We don’t ‘get over’ grief. We learn to live with it; we integrate it into our being, our identity, and the way we see the world.”

“Losing a loved one is a difficult time for anyone at any age,” said Steven Ungerleider, PhD., founding editor of The Prevention Researcher. “But for an adolescent, such a loss can be especially difficult.”

During adolescence, many young people unfortunately become bereaved due to the death of a family member, loved one, or friend. Most youth are resilient and recover from their grief fairly soon but many others have difficulty and may need the help of supportive adults

In the current issue of The Prevention Researcher, four researchers examine how bereavement impacts adolescent development, explore the influence of culture on adolescent grief, provide insight into adolescents’ mourning process, and discuss strategies for supporting grieving youth, including use of music therapy.

David Balk, PhD. writes that “In order to understand how grieving youth respond to the loss of a loved one, it is important for counselors, clinicians, and others working with youth to understand how bereavement impacts adolescent development and how adolescent development impacts bereavement.” In his article, Dr. Balk explores these two components focusing on cognitive, behavioral, and affective responses during three stages of adolescence and discusses human responses to bereavement.

Sandra Lopez, D.C.S.W., examines culture as an influencing factor in adolescent grief and bereavement, introducing a framework for understanding culture and its components. She provides a case illustration that provides practical guidelines for honoring cultural differences for grieving adolescents.

An interview by Carol Thomas, PhD. with Wendy Littner Thomson, a bereavement coordinator in a hospice program, provides insight into the mourning process and shows how adults can be effective in helping youth who are struggling with grief. Ms. Thomson notes that “what’s written in most high school health textbooks about ‘stages of grief’ is outdated. We don’t ‘get over’ grief. We learn to live with it; we integrate it into our being, our identity, and the way we see the world.”

Katrina McFerron, PhD., writes in “Music Therapy with Bereaved Youth: Expressing Grief and Feeling Better” that music therapy is particularly effective for promoting resolution of grief-related feelings. She outlines relevant outcomes for the prevention of health problems in response to bereavement among adolescents.

For a preview of a digital edition of The Prevention Researcher on “Adolescent Grief and Bereavement,” visit http://www.tpronline.org.

About The Prevention Researcher

Founded in 1994, The Prevention Researcher is published by the non-profit, Integrated Research Services in Eugene, Oregon. The quarterly journal focuses on successful adolescent development and serves professionals who work with young people in a variety of organizational settings.

Each issue of The Prevention Researcher covers a single topic, presenting the latest adolescent behavioral research and findings on significant issues facing today’s youth. The journal provides information about programs that create supportive environments for youth, strategies for preventing problems affecting adolescents, and resources that help youth-serving professionals.

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Todd Peterson