Coping with Parental Loss Because of Termination of Parental Rights

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LOSS (Psychology) in children, CHILD sexual abuse, CHILD abuse, ADJUSTMENT (Psychology), CAREGIVERS


This article addresses the process by which children and adolescents cope with severe acute stress of parental loss from causes other than divorce or death. Participants were 60 children and adolescents from a residential treatment facility. Most had experienced neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse, and their parents had their parential rights terminated. Measures of symptomatology indicated that children reported low levels of depressive symptoms, whereas caregivers reported the children were experiencing significant psychological problems. Children used avoidant coping strategies more often than emotion-focused coping strategies, which, in turn, were used more than problem-focused coping strategies. Results are discussed in terms of helping children cope with parental loss.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Child Welfare, v. 84, issue 6, p. 819-842