Suicide-bereaved children and adolescents: II. Parental and family functioning
Journal/Book: J Amer Acad Child Adolesc Psy. 2000; 39: 530 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3621, USA. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 437-444.
Abstract: Objective: The current study extends the authors' earlier examination of suicide-bereaved (SB) children from the Grief Research Study, a longitudinal study of childhood bereavement after parental death, by examining the children's family history of psychopathology and family environment before and after death. Method: Twenty-six SE children, aged 5 to 17 years, and their 15 surviving parents were compared with 332 children bereaved from parental death not caused by suicide (NSB) and their 201 surviving parents in interviews 1, 6, 13, and 25 months after the death. Results: Suicide completers evidenced more psychopathology than parents who died from reasons other than suicide. Contrary to expectations, surviving SE parents were not more impaired than NSB parents. Before the death, SE families were less stable than NSB families and relationships with the deceased SE parent were compromised. However, no differences were detected between groups in children's relationships with their surviving parents. Likewise, few differences were found in social support or changes in religious beliefs. Conclusions: SE children generally come from families with a history of psychopathology and substantial family disruption. However, surviving SE parents do not exhibit higher rates of psychopathology than other bereaved parents and many have positive relationships with their children.
Note: Article Fristad MA, Div Child & Adolescent Psychiat, 1670 Upham Dr, Suite 460, Columbus,OH 43210 USA
Keyword(s): suicide; bereavement; survivor; family; SUDDEN-DEATH; STRESSORS; SURVIVOR