Individual and Psychosocial Mechanisms of Adaptive Functioning in Parentally Bereaved Children


ABSTRACT: The authors examined factors theorized to contribute to adaptive functioning in 56 parentally bereaved children (age 7–13) who had lost their caregiver within the previous 6 months. Adaptive functioning, defined as falling below clinical threshold levels on all measures of depression, posttraumatic stress, anxiety, and internalizing/externalizing symptoms, characterized 57% of the sample. Linear mixed modeling revealed that children in the adaptive functioning group had lower mean scores on avoidant coping and higher mean scores on coping efficacy, religiosity, parental positive reinforcement, and parental empathy. Findings suggest that adaptive functioning following parental loss is related to both child-intrinsic factors and child-extrinsic factors.

Publication Title

Death Studies