Young people and their understanding of loss and bereavement

Ros Scott (Lead / Corresponding author), Rebecca Wallace, Annie Audsley, Srini Chary

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    Abstract

    A significant proportion of secondary school pupils in the UK have experienced the death of someone close. Bereavement in childhood can have a significant and long lasting impact. The aim of this study was to explore how pupils aged between 12 and 18 understand major loss, death and dying, whom they talk to and the support they access at these times, and their awareness of the range of support available to them. A total of 31 pupils, 108 parents and 37 staff from a large Scottish secondary school took part and data was collected using online questionnaires. A high proportion of pupils had experience of major loss or bereavement and showed significant awareness of their feelings and responses to these. It appears that young people primarily seek support from family and friends, but the role of peers is less well recognised by parents and teachers. The school was recognised as a source of support mainly by teachers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6-12
    Number of pages7
    JournalBereavement Care
    Volume38
    Issue number1
    Early online date1 May 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Keywords

    • bereavement
    • major loss
    • parents
    • peers
    • pupils
    • teachers

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