Comparing parent loss with sibling loss


Comparing parent loss with sibling loss


Worden JW; Davies B; McCown D


Death Studies




adolescent; Child; Female; Humans; Male; United States; bereavement; Canada; Parent-Child Relations; Sex Factors; Sibling Relations; adolescent; bereavement; Comparative Study; Psychological Tests; sibling bereavement


The death of a loved one is a traumatic loss for children, but little attention has been paid to how children's responses vary according to who died--a parent or a sibling. This article reports the findings of a comparison between children's responses to parent and sibling loss. Two samples of bereaved children were combined for the project, which compared children's scores on the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist. Findings indicated that there were no significant differences between the two loss groups in the total number of problems, in any of the syndrome scales, or in the percentage of children at risk. However, when the two loss groups were considered by gender, differences appeared--boys were more impacted by the loss of a parent than by the loss of a sibling and girls were most affected by the loss of a sibling, particularly a sister. Possible explanations for these differences are discussed.


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Worden JW; Davies B; McCown D, “Comparing parent loss with sibling loss,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed August 12, 2022,

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