Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
Studies exploring death and bereavement experiences during adolescence emerged only in recent decades. A plethora of material has appeared since then, with attention paid to adolescents bereaved over a parent's death, a sibling's death, and their own impending death (Balk, 1991). More than 2 million children and adolescents experience the death of a close relative each year. A substantial number of these experience the death of a friend (Balk, Obrien & Goodenow, Rheingold et. al, 2003).
Very little research has been conducted pertaining to individuals who have experienced the death of a peer while in high school and the long term effects that the event held for them months and years after that death remain misunderstood at best. There is a need for more development of data about the trajectory of adolescent grief following the death of a peer. This study will address this gap from past studies, and seek to create an understanding of a change in individual's perception of themselves as well
as other relationships throughout the months, years, and decades after the death of a peer while in high school.
This current study will investigate: 1) How the death of a peer in high school can potentially change view of self, 2) How their perception of relationships changed or their view of relationships changed, including friends and family, 3) How the death of the peer changed their thoughts of their own mortality, and finally, 4) How this death affected current relationships with friends and/or mates. These findings will improve understanding of what long term affects exist for these individuals throughout their life.
Bradley, Jenny M., "Preliminary Findings of the Long Term Effects of the Death of a Peer While in HIgh School" (2013). Theses and Dissertations. 65.