Parental Death: A Preventive Intervention

  • G. H. Christ
  • K. Siegel
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 121)


The loss of a parent during childhood is a profound psychological trauma which threatens a child’s normal social and emotional development [1]. At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), a comprehensive cancer treatment and research center, parents turned to our staff for help in dealing with their own and their children’s reactions to the presence of cancer in one of the parents. Our clinical experiences with these parents led us to hypothesize that the terminal stage and death of a parent contain the most stressful and traumatic experiences during the course of the disease [2]. In this presentation we will limit ourselves to a description of an ongoing study that specifically addresses the question: Can psychoeducational parent guidance intervention prevent or lessen the deleterious effects on children of the terminal stage and death of a parent from cancer?


Terminal Stage Supportive Component Psychoeducational Intervention Psychosocial Service Parent Guidance 
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    Osterweis M, Solomon F, Green M (eds) (1984) Bereavement: reactions, consequences and care. National Academy, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
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    Siegel K, Christ G, Mresago F (1990) A preventive program for bereaved children. Am J Orthopsychiatry.Google Scholar
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    Berlinsky E, Biller HA (1982) Parental death and psychological development. Heath, Lexington MAGoogle Scholar
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    Furman RA (1964) Death and the young child: some preliminary considerations. Psychoanalytic study of the child, vol 19. International University Press, New York, pp 321–333.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. H. Christ
    • 1
  • K. Siegel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social WorkMemorial Sloan Kettering CenterNew YorkUSA

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