ERIC Number: ED207721
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Sibling Death During Adolescence: Self Concept and Bereavement Reactions.
Balk, David Edward
This study was designed to investigate bereavement reactions and self-concept in 33 white middle and upper-middle class adolescents (14 to 19 years old) whose siblings had died. Participants completed the Offer Self Image Questionnaire for Adolescents (SIQ) and were interviewed regarding bereavement and self-concept. Specific bereavement variables investigated were emotional responses; preoccupation with images of the deceased; effects on normal living and school work; anniversary reactions; hallucinations; thoughts of suicide; relationships with peers, siblings and other family members; reactions during siblings' terminal illness; and means of accepting the death. Specific self-concept variables investigated were perceptions of change in self since the death; self-concept with regard to family, peers, and self; moral and religious beliefs; school work; sibling relationships; and relationships with parents and other family members. Among the results were the following: (1) females tended to experience enduring feelings of confusion; (2) anger about the death tended to occur with 17- to 19-year-old rather than 14- to 16-year-old adolescents and was more likely in adolescents from less coherent families; (3) perceptions of greater family coherency were associated with shock, numbness, lonliness, and fear when the death occurred, while perceptions of less family coherency were associated with guilt and anger; (4) grades and study habits changed and in nearly all cases became worse; and (5) based on clinical judgments and supported by the study data, it was concluded that most participants eventually fared well--they improved their school work, developed positive relations with parents and peers, and felt more mature. Forms of the letter to obtain participants and the report sent to participants are appended, along with the questionnaire and the SIQ form and coding sheet. (Author/MP)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Age Differences, Bereavement, Death, Emotional Adjustment, Emotional Problems, Emotional Response, Family Problems, Family Role, Grief, Interviews, Parent Child Relationship, Peer Relationship, Questionnaires, Self Concept, Sex Differences, Siblings
University Microfilm International, Dissertation Copies, P.O. Box 1764, Ann Arbor, MI 48106 (Contact publisher for price).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Illinois Univ., Champaign. Coll. of Education.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Ph.D. Thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.