The Phenomenon of Bereaved Parenting: An Integrative Review of Literature


The Phenomenon of Bereaved Parenting: An Integrative Review of Literature


Haylett WJ; Scott Tilley D


Omega: Journal of Death & Dying




Emotions; Psychology; Communication; Bereavement; Survivors; Conflict (Psychology); Human; Coping; Parenting; Grief; Social Work; Parents -- Psychosocial Factors; Systematic Review; Parental Role; Family Role; Science


Bereaved parenting, a role that entails parenting surviving children after experiencing the death of a child, is a unique but understudied phenomenon within bereavement research. Not much is known about the impact of a child's death on this crucial familial role. An integrative review of literature of 20 studies across psychology, nursing, communications, social work, and family sciences was undertaken to determine the current state of science regarding bereaved parenting. Results revealed three influential contexts: the general context of parental grief and bereavement, described as traumatic and life-changing experiences; the personal context of the resulting parental changes and coping strategies; and the relational context of the subsequent parenting of surviving children, an experience characterized by periodic conflict between personal and children's needs, emotional fluctuations, challenges with levels of protectiveness and control, and a heightened sense of responsibility within the parental role. Discussion of results and implications for research are presented.


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Citation List Month

March 2021 List



Haylett WJ; Scott Tilley D, “The Phenomenon of Bereaved Parenting: An Integrative Review of Literature,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed September 22, 2023,