Posttraumatic stress symptoms in parentally bereaved children and adolescents

Academic Article


  • Objective: To compare parentally bereaved children with a disaster comparison group and a nontrauma control group on measures of emotional adjustment. Method: Children and adolescents who had lost a parent (n = 39), had experienced a tornado disaster (n = 69), or were coping with an ongoing social or academic stressor (n = 118) completed measures of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, anxiety, and depression. Risk factors for symptoms among the bereaved children also were evaluated. Results: Parentally bereaved children reported significantly more PTSD symptoms than the disaster and nontrauma control groups. Among the bereaved children, girls, younger children, and children living with a surviving parent who scored high on a measure of posttraumatic stress reported more symptoms. Conclusion: Children and adolescents who have lost a parent could be vulnerable to PTSD symptoms.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Stoppelbein L; Greening L
  • Start Page

  • 1112
  • End Page

  • 1119
  • Volume

  • 39
  • Issue

  • 9