The death of a loved one is a significant stressor for children. Most children are exposed to grief at an early age. Without necessary support and guidance, children are much more susceptible to negative emotional, cognitive, and developmental effects. Expressive therapies such as bibliotherapy are supposed to provide a safe and healthy outlet for children's grief. However, school psychologists have limited pre-service training and readily available resources to effectively address children's death-related grief. This study included a survey of school psychologists from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Crisis Management Group. Of the 431 potential members, 22% (N=95) responded to an online survey. Of these surveys, 89 were considered complete and representative of school psychologists experienced in working with grieving elementary school-aged children. Participants responded to questions regarding availability of, use of, and need for printed materials to support children's grief. Participants were also asked to share their ideas, activities, and children's picture books which supported children's grief. Based on survey responses, practical guidelines and a resource list of activities and grief-related materials were summarized to assist school psychologists in better supporting young children's adaptive coping skills following the death of a loved one.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Bergeson, Catherine Alexandra, "Supporting Children's Grief after a Death: A Guide for School Psychologists" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 3387.
children's grief, death, bibliotherapy, lesson plans, teaching materials, elementary school support