Changes in Parents' Mental Distress After the Violent Death of an Adolescent or Young Adult Child: A Longitudinal Prospective Analysis

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Changes in Parents' Mental Distress After the Violent Death of an Adolescent or Young Adult Child: A Longitudinal Prospective Analysis

TitleChanges in Parents' Mental Distress After the Violent Death of an Adolescent or Young Adult Child: A Longitudinal Prospective Analysis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsMurphy, SA, Gupta, AD, Cain, KC, Johnson, LC, Wu, L, Mekwa, J
JournalDeath Studies
Volume23
Pagination129–159
Date Publishedfeb
ISSN0748-1187
Abstract

This study examined changes in bereaved parents' mental distress following the violent deaths of their 12 - to 28 - year - old children . A community - based sample of 171 bereaved mothers and 90 fathers was recruited by a review of medical examiner records . Data were collected 4 , 12 , and 24 months post - death . Repeated measures analysis of variance showed significant reductions in 8 of 10 measures of mental distress among mothers and 4 of 10 for fathers , with the most change for both genders occurring between 4 and 12 months post - death . During the 2nd year of bereavement , mothers' symptoms continued to decline , whereas fathers , who started out with less distress than mothers , reported slight increases in 5 of 10 symptom domains . Nonetheless , 2 years after the deaths , mothers' mental distress scores were to 5 times higher than those of ”typical” U . S . women and fathers' scores were to 4 times higher than ”typical” U . S . men . Of the 7 intervening variables , higher scores on self - esteem and self - efficacy predicted lower distress for mothers and fathers 4 , 12 , and 24 months post - death . Repressive coping was of distress among fathers . It was concluded that violent death bereavement sustained , distressing consequences on parents of children who die as a result of , homicides , and suicide .

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/074811899201118
DOI10.1080/074811899201118