Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Michael Schock, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Rosemary Link, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Gail Noller, M.A.


Children who grieve need the support and understanding of their parent(s) in order to experience a grief reaction void of negative long-term effects. Parents experiencing grief are often exhausted from their own grief response having little energy to obtain support and information to provide a supportive atmosphere for their children. This study evaluates the efficacy of a parent grief support group in conjunction with a children grief group for ages 6-12 in response to the belief that the parent-child relationship undergoes extreme stress when a death is experienced in the family. A six session psycho-educational parent grief support group was developed and implemented with five parent participants. The study evaluated three main group components, group processing, focus on children's grief, and educational materials. Field notes included observations of group atmosphere, interaction, participation, and overall group analysis. The findings support the efficacy of a parent grief support group in conjunction with a children grief support group with the inclusion of the three main components in the curriculum. The study identifies recommendations for modifications of future parent's grief group curriculum concurrent with children's grief group. Recommendations such as, developing creative screening processes, extending length and number of groups sessions, timing of parent-child activities within the group sessions, and co-facilitation of grief group were identified in the study.


SC 11.MSW.1998.Swenson.EJ

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Social Work Commons