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Children and the Loss of a Parent

            Losing a parent is one of worst experiences that a child may experience irrespective of the age. The bereaved child is more likely to have a stressful development as one grows up. In most cases, the loss of a parent due to an unexplainable accident is fatal since the child will have poor growth and development. For a young bereaved adult the loss of one parent may be catastrophic since it affects not only his basic education needs but also his life experiences and career. As a result, the young adult will have declined competency and morale in the work environment. The bereaved adult will also have poor communication and social skills especially when dealing with his peers. Moreover, the young adult may lack motivation for academic and occupational success. The loss of parental advice is irreplaceable and there is need for continuous guidance/counseling as well as encouragement from friends and the society in general(Shapiro, 1994).
             The loss of a parent especially when this parent was a responsible breadwinner of the family may cascade into increased burden especially on the elderly children. Such elderly bereaved young adults have a higher risk of diverse psychological problems such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. As a result, the elderly bereaved young adults may fail to handle such situations resulting in drug abuse and unhealthy behaviors. According to numerous researches on developmental psychology, the effects of family adversities and risks on the elderly bereaved young adults has grown beyond psychological problems perspective to include other consequences from broader indicators of adaptive strategies. They include the consequences of adversity for achievement of developmental tasks in the education and career sectors, as well as policies in improvement of interpersonal relationship (Riches, 2000).
             Interestingly, there exists limited literature associating parent bereavement with positive developmental outcomes.

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