Parents' Perception of Their Relationship Following the Loss of a Child.


Parents' Perception of Their Relationship Following the Loss of a Child.


Dyregrov A; Dyregrov K


Omega: Journal Of Death & Dying




Bereavement; Child Mortality; Interpersonal Relations; Men; Parents; Perception; Questionnaires; Respect; Satisfaction; Women; Family Conflict; Communication Barriers; Parent Attitudes; Norway
Child Loss; Communication; Marital Closeness; Parental Relationship


It is known that if one partner wants to talk after the loss of a child, while the other does not, the less satisfied they are with the relationship. The aim of this study was to increase our understanding of parental relationships following the loss of a child. A questionnaire on various aspects of the relationship was sent to 1,027 members of bereavement support organizations for parents who have lost children in Norway. The studied sample (N=285) consisted of 169 women (59.3%) and 116 men (40.7%), representing 175 couples. Although the participants were generally satisfied with their relationship and felt that it was strengthened, there were challenges of communication and interaction. The loss made the relationship special, and they felt they had learned to know each other on a deeper level. The importance of talking together and communicating thoughts and feelings was emphasized by the parents. Women initiated talk more often and evidenced a greater need to talk. A deterioration of the relationship tended to be related to a lack of understanding, communication, and care. Communication, respect, and understanding were underlined as core factors for perceiving a relationship as positive.


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Citation List Month

December 2017 List


Dyregrov A; Dyregrov K, “Parents' Perception of Their Relationship Following the Loss of a Child.,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed January 24, 2022,

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