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ERIC Number: EJ868100
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0164-775X
Violent Loss and Urban Children: Understanding the Impact on Grieving and Development
Zenere, Frank
Communique, v38 n2 p1, 7-9 Oct 2009
Youth attitudes, perspectives, and behaviors regarding violence and loss are shaped by a variety of community, familial, and cultural influences. Their life stories are testimonials to the impact of cumulative grief experiences, each of which are powerful reminders of the fragility of life in their world. Erroneously, some believe that youth living in such environments are so familiar with violent loss that they are no longer impacted by such incidents. This misguided interpretation frequently results in minimal, if any, intervention services that serve to promote healthy bereavement. In fact, these attitudes hinder recovery and serve to further complicate the grieving process. Violent loss is sudden, unanticipated, and increases the possibility of long-term enduring grief. Multiple losses of this nature only heighten the intensity and duration of the grief experience. These experiences impact the urban child's journey through grief in unique ways. Although theirs is a journey that may be foreign to those not raised in environments scarred by such events, it is a journey that can be contextually understood. Thus, it is critical that the school mental health practitioner be aware of the factors that influence a child's pathway through bereavement. This article discusses these factors and their impact on children. It is paramount that school mental health practitioners provide the support that these children so desperately need. To accomplish this goal, they must become aware of how violent loss experiences influence a child's grief reactions, bereavement, and overall development. Further, they may need to adapt and/or enhance their skill set in order to lessen the burden that may negatively alter a child's future.
National Association of School Psychologists. 4340 East West Highway Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-657-0270; Fax: 301-657-0275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A