Child Grief at Loss Essay

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Child Grief at Loss

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Grief is a natural and inevitable part of human existence and most people experience some kind of loss during their lifetimes. In the past the majority of research literature regarding grief has addressed this phenomenon in adults and very little research has addressed the depth of suffering children may experience in response to loss (Bonanno et al., 2007). Until recently, the complexity and breadth of impact with loss events have on children are considered only in terms of adults' experiences rather than concern for the experiences and needs of the children themselves (Melhem et al., 2008). The purpose of this paper is to critically review current literature for a deeper understanding of the potential short-term and long-term deleterious effects of grief on child development socially, physically, cognitively, and emotionally. The reviewer will use a hypothetical case of a six-year-old girl called Emma who is affected by the death of her father as a springboard to describe and evaluate current findings and challenges in child grief research from the perspectives of developmental psychology. Then the possible impacts of grief at loss in relation to children's developmental conceptions and reactions to death will be investigated. When examining relevant studies concerning these issues, the reviewer will identify a number of steps to ameliorate potential negative effects of grief related to death for the child in the hypothetical case.

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Child Grief at Loss on Development

TOPIC: Essay on Child Grief at Loss Grief Is a Assignment

In normal circumstances, it is merely within the framework of the association between a kid and an adult that children achieve the different developmental duties linked to psychological maturity. Actually, loss of a single parent or both parents owing to death will constitute a key effect on the kid's mental development and perhaps on his/her cognitive and physical growth as well. Even though the impacts of parental loss will differ from kid to kid and from family unit to family unit, the negative impacts caused by this loss can be reduce only if the kid can dwell in a surrounding which is accommodating to the mournful process and manage to provide a clarification and perception of his life proceedings (Hensley et al., 2009). Unluckily a lot of kids who have undergone this shock have not obtained adequate assistance in coming up with solutions to the loss matters and are usually, to one point or more mentally trapped at the time of the death of their basic accessories objects.

In a study conducted last year by (Brent et al., 2009) on child bereavement, he found out that the degree of depression and anxiety remain high and the bereaved kids demonstrate larger functional. History of depression prior to this study onset by Brent predicts depressive illness in the bereaved adults. Brent also found heaping blame on other people for the loss, usually witnessed with complex mourning, was also a threat factor for gloominess in the succeeding year. Brent et al. suggest that their results advocate treatment of gloominess and complex mourning in the first nine months of mourning may hinder longer-term harm.

Death during the Initial Year of Life

The short-range effects for a child who has lost his/her parents during the first year include deterioration in terms of reliance needs. That is the child will not ask for some of the basic necessities in comparison with the period in which he/she wasn't experiencing mourning. Secondly, kid's logic of security and confidence will be dented by the fact that adults will be readily available. Another short-term effect is that the child will experience be disruption in the attainment of sequencing and essential cause and effect as a result of the changes in daily schedule which go hand in hand with the changes in care givers. In order to lessen the short-term effects of loss in young children the existing parent should always be available "on demand" for her. That is she should cater once more for her again earlier developmental basic needs. In addition, all relations with the kid must be weighed by posing a question such as "What will assist this child discover to believe that a grown-up person shall be available?" It is also very important for her mother to pursue a constant routine for her ( O' Connor et al., 2008).

The possible long-term impacts of the Loss include the fact that if the kid's the dependency wants are not realized, she will mature to be one who keeps on to believing that she is being owed by life. Secondly, she is relatively expected to have difficulties in always catering for the dependency wants of other persons. Thirdly, belief in others will be severely damaged. Last but not least, learning troubles, which are secondary to troubles with cause and impact, are likely to take place. This is in spite of the fact that there is a possibility of them not becoming obvious until later years (Simon et al., 2007).

Death during the Infancy Years (Ages One to Three)

At this stage the short-term impacts comprise of the fact that the equilibrium between age suitable dependency and inter-dependency will severely be interrupted. In addition, obstruction with identity that is with variations in family unit status will make the kid's personality growth to be interrupted. Further, the kid's consciousness of both interior and exterior stimuli can be dented and there is a possibility of deterioration in terms of the most currently attained skills. Lastly, the usual attainment of language can be momentarily interfered with the parental death, more so if the parent who has passed on was the kid's interpreter.

It is worthy to note that cautious attention should be paid to catering the kind's dependency wants whilst at the same time assisting him or her feel more sufficient and inter-dependent on his/her own terms. However, if the return to his/her former levels of operation is permitted, the child will generally gain the skills inside a few months time. Additionally, if too much pressure is exerted on the kid to persist to operate at his peak levels or even to achieve new skills devoid of time for change, long-term tribulations are most liable to occur.

The long-term impacts on the other hand include the fact that there is a chance that the kid will everlastingly take on the deceased task in the future. Long-term matters may be apparent. Basically, the interference in personality development, with an amplified incidence of borderline ego tribulations could be a severe effect. The inadequacy of self-consciousness may be continuing. There could be long-term slight language difficulties. Once they become adults, these persons may be stiff, inflexible and not capable of handling correctly violent impulses (Shear et al., 2007).

Death during Ages Three to Six

This is the age bracket in which Emma's case fall. At these ages Emma's self-centered magical reasoning can make him/her not to understand the cause of the death of the parent or both parents. It is very significant here that the Emma's mother should toil hard in order to spot Emma's personal magical reasoning concerning the death. That is, is Emma thinking that she caused the death? Is she thinking she can do a particular thing so as to annul it? Another short-term effect is that Emma may display indiscriminate attachment to the adults. Better still, she is likely to have contradictory feelings pertaining something good and something bad character in herself and others.

These short-term effects can be reduced significantly by spotting, making it clear and appreciating that magical reasoning, that is Emma is largely is to blame is mostly significant. Another way of dealing with the short-term effects of loss is by giving the kid age-considerable clarifications for the loss and by persisting in advising Emma's mother to repetitively and constantly verify Emma's position in the family. Finally, sufficient chances for play must be offered at this particular age. Each and every psychological matter, including mourning should be determined largely through play.

The probable long-term impacts of the loss include the fact that since grouping of magical thinking of good vs. terrible struggle is present, Emma may think that she is so terrible and responsible the loss. In addition, Emma may think the death of her father was connected to her wanting her mother to herself. This could tantamount to long-range outcomes in terms of her sexual discovery matters. The result is that there can be augmentation in cases of sexual exploitation. The magical reasoning and the big vs. little struggling may make Emma to relate the death of her father to her being too big or too little in her family.

Death during Ages Seven to Twelve

The short-term effects include the reality that children at this age bracket attend school and thus if a parent passes on, slight energy is available for the normal duties. Moreover the kids become conscious of the disparities between themselves and their age mates and these could make them have wanting conduct with their age mates. In order to reduce the impacts of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Child Grief at Loss" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Child Grief at Loss.  (2010, May 17).  Retrieved September 21, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Child Grief at Loss."  17 May 2010.  Web.  21 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Child Grief at Loss."  May 17, 2010.  Accessed September 21, 2021.