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Ratnarajah D, Schofield MJ. Parental suicide and its aftermath: A review. 2007.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/8501
Parental suicide and its aftermath: A review
It is well-established that suicide is associated with grief that is complex. However, there is very limited research examining the grief experiences and long-term outcomes for a particularly vulnerable group, namely, children who have lost a parent through suicide. This review aims to critically examine the small body of available quantitative and qualitative research on the impact of parental suicide and examines factors associated with the children's adjustment. Children's adjustment is shown to be influenced by the age of the child at time of parent suicide, their personal attributes, level of family support, social environment, economic and environmental factors, and the process of 'meaning making' engaged in by the child. Some recent intervention studies are reviewed, suggesting that children's needs following parental suicide are not well understood nor are support services readily available or accessed. Processes of resilience related to children bereaved by parental suicide are outlined and future research needs are highlighted.