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Death Stud. 2013 Jan;37(1):25-46.

Parental perceptions of siblings' grieving after a childhood cancer death: a longitudinal study.

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Department of Psychology, Haematology-Oncology Program, Child Health Evaluative Sciences, Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Psychology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, Survivorship Program, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Department of Psychiatry, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


We investigated longitudinally parental perceptions of siblings' bereavement after childhood cancer death. Parents were interviewed 6 months (n = 25) and 18 months (n = 75) post-death. Data are analyzed combined and over time. The following themes emerged: (a) expression of grief missing deceased child (verbally, crying), behavioral problems, difficulty understanding the meaning of death (pre-schoolers), and avoiding talking with parents about feelings (adolescents); (b) what helps siblings grief moving on, talking about deceased child and social support; (c) relationship with parents improved for most siblings; and (d) bond with deceased sibling: pretend-play (preschoolers), dreaming, and career choices (adolescents). Over time, themes reflected stability and change.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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