Date of Graduation

Fall 2020

Degree

Master of Science in Child Life Studies

Department

Childhood Education and Family Studies

Committee Chair

Lindsey Murphy

Keywords

bereavement, child life, sibling, grief, qualitative, retrospective, development

Subject Categories

Community Health | Development Studies | Other Mental and Social Health

Abstract

This retrospective, phenomenological study investigated how bereaved siblings believe the death of their brother impacted their development. Through semi-structured interviews, five adults whose brother died during their adolescence discussed how their grief changed over time and the factors that influenced changes in grief. Participants experienced periods of lack of acceptance, independence and isolation, and finding contentment. Factors that influenced changes in grief include sibling’s cause of death, family reaction, establishment of a support network, remembering the deceased, and milestones and dates. These findings provide a glimpse into how grief changes over time in the context of development. Furthermore, the results promote a need for family-centered grief support resources to better aid bereaved siblings.

Copyright

© Amanda Marie McCarthy

Open Access

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