© 2017

Perspectives on the Experience of Sudden, Unexpected Child Death

The Very Worst Thing?

  • Based on original research into unexpected child death from both personal and professional accounts

  • Utilises a unique psychosocial approach and methodology which will contribute to the psychosocial community’s understanding of group data analysis

  • Draws together the work of leading psychosocial theorists to interrogate the topic of individual and societal responses to child death and death more generally


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Denise Turner
    Pages 1-10
  3. Denise Turner
    Pages 11-29
  4. Denise Turner
    Pages 31-75
  5. Denise Turner
    Pages 77-101
  6. Denise Turner
    Pages 103-139
  7. Denise Turner
    Pages 141-162
  8. Denise Turner
    Pages 163-181
  9. Denise Turner
    Pages 183-205
  10. Denise Turner
    Pages 207-235
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 237-249

About this book


This book combines autobiography and innovative narrative research to create an original psychosocial perspective on the often taboo subject of sudden, unexpected child death.  Beginning with the author’s own experience, the book investigates manifold aspects of sudden, unexpected child death, including the professional rapid response; contemporary cultural reactions to death; theories of grieving; child death inquiries and popular media reporting. 

At the heart of the book are intimate personal stories, drawn from unprecedented psychosocial research on this topic, which combine to create a unique record of parent’s experiences following the sudden and unexpected death of a child. Additionally, the book offers original guidance on the Biographic Narrative Interpretive methodology, which extends knowledge of group data analysis. 

The book will be of great methodological interest to the psychosocial community, as well as to health and social care professionals and lay readers interested in both sudden, unexpected child death and the wider field.  


Psychosocial Social Work Child Death Grieving Biographic Narrative Interpretive Method Psychosocial methodology Group Data Analysis Emotional Politics Klein and the ‘space that connects’ The Biographic Narrative Interpretive method Sudden, Unexpected Death in Infancy’ ‘Rapid Response’ or Joint Agency Approach (JAA) ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.LewesUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Denise Turner is a former social worker and currently works within academia. Her research interests include autobiographical research methods, bereavement and the openings created by loss, change and transition. This book is based on her personal experience of sudden, unexpected child death and builds on PhD research, completed at the University of Sussex, UK.    

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals


“This is an excellent book for qualitative researchers, especially those interested in narrative approaches, but it is also an easy enough read for those interested in the topic of grief after losing a child through the lenses of societal perspectives and cultural constraints.” (Ileana Ungureanu, Doody's Book Reviews, April, 2018)