Supporting parentally bereaved students the school counselor's role /
A child or adolescent is profoundly impacted by the death of a parent. The grief process
can affect students socially, physically, and academically, no matter their relationship with the
parent who died. School counselors should understand the impact of such a loss and plan
interventions to address grieving students' needs. Interventions by the school counselor with
parentally grieving students can help support students. In addition, noncrisis death education is a
way of reaching all students.
There is much information in the literature regarding the grief process for children and
adolescents. There is also much information regarding school-based interventions that can be
done to help students who have lost a parent to death. It is not known how school counselors in
this upper Midwest urban public school district intervene. The purpose of this study was to
explore school counselors' perceptions of school-based bereavement assistance provided to
parentally bereaved students (K-12 students who had a parent die). Data were collected via a
survey distributed to school counselors employed at K- 12 schools in a public school district in
the upper Midwest during the spring of 2006.
Participants were asked to answer questions related to noncrisis death education,
interventions and effectiveness of interventions by school counselors with parentally bereaved
students. Results of this study showed half of school counselor respondents supported noncrisis
death education as part of the developmental guidance curriculum. When assisting parentally
bereaved students, school counselors reported using a variety of interventions. Themes presented
included importance of family interaction as well as need for individualizing intervention plans.
Finally, respondents indicated a variation of effectiveness. Recommendations for future research
complete this thesis.
School:University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
School Location:USA - Wisconsin
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:children bereavement in parents grief student counselors
Date of Publication: