The National Archive of Grief Support Studies
The National Archive of Grief Support Studies(NAGSS) database provides bibliographical information and summaries of recent articles selected for their relevance to grief and bereavement service providers. The articles that are summarized are selected from scholarly, peer-reviewed journals and are intended to highlight key concepts as well as provide a brief statement of implications for service providers. Bibliographical information may be used to obtain the original article.
The Effectiveness of Bereavement Interventions with Children: A Meta-Analytic Review of Controlled Outcome Research
Currier, Joseph M.
Holland, Jason M.
Neimeyer, Robert A.
Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology: 2007. Volume 36, Number 2, pp. 253-259.
Previous studies have concluded that bereaved children are potentially at risk for psychological problems or emotional and behavior difficulties. This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of different psychosocial interventions with bereaved children by conducting a quantitative literature review of 13 controlled outcome studies. Twelve of the studies were of group-based interventions. The study concluded that the outcome measurements of the children that received interventions were not significantly different than the measurements of children in the control groups. However, the authors suggest that treatment results were stronger when interventions took place soon after the death, or when the children receiving the interventions had already shown signs of distress or difficulty, indicating a need for treatment. The authors also expressed concern regarding the tendency to pathologize grief, and noted that many of the studies used tools that were measures of psychiatric or behavioral disorders, rather than grief. The article stated that development of a valid measure of children’s grief is needed.
Key words: child, effective, intervention, research
Service Provider Implications
Based on this survey of 13 outcome studies, interventions may be most effective soon after the death, and with more targeted “at risk” or distressed populations of grieving children. Service providers seeking to conduct research related to the effectiveness of programs for bereaved children need to be aware that researchers believe there is a lack of valid measurements for children’s grief.