Parental Loss At A Young Age

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Parental loss at a young age has been linked to heightened risk of psychological problems in adulthood, especially depression and lower self-confidence (Mack, 2001; Mireault & Bond, 1992; Saler &Skolnick, 1992*) It has also been linked to several different health conditions including chronic pain, hypertension, heart disease, and immune disorders (Luekin & Lemery, 2004; McEwen & Seeman, 2006). The way a child grieves over a lost parent shapes the way that information is interpreted and stored in the brain as well (Lupien, Ouellet-Morin, Hupbach, Tu, Buss, Walker, et al., 2006; Vanitallie, 2002) and it can influence whether or not life events are defined as stressful (Lupien et al., 2006). Studies conducted concerning childhood bereavement suggest that early parental loss can lead to the development of poorly regulated neuro-emotional response systems (Brotman, Gouley, Klein, Castellanos & Pine, 2003) and the alteration of brain structures that help with memory and cognitive functioning (Lupien et al., 2006; Vanitallie, 2002). Because of the impact of the loss, often times, children need help to recover from the loss of their parent. There have been several studies conducted on effective interventions and strategies when it comes to helping a child grieve and recover from the loss of their loved one.

Stages of Grief and the Grieving Process
Grieving children commonly pass through five different stages of grief, although they do not follow a particular pattern
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