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Risk and Resilience Factors Related to Parental Bereavement Following the Death of a Child with a Life-Limiting Condition

Department of Pain and Palliative Care, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick NSW 2031, Australia
School of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of New South Wales, Kensington NSW 2052, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Children 2017, 4(11), 96;
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 9 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric Palliative Care)
PDF [645 KB, uploaded 10 November 2017]


This paper reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on risk and resilience factors impacting on parental bereavement outcomes following the death of a child with a life-limiting condition. Over the past few decades, bereavement research has focussed primarily on a risk-based approach. In light of advances in the literature on resilience, the authors propose a Risk and Resilience Model of Parental Bereavement, thus endeavouring to give more holistic consideration to a range of potential influences on parental bereavement outcomes. The literature will be reviewed with regard to the role of: (i) loss-oriented stressors (e.g., circumstances surrounding the death and multiple losses); (ii) inter-personal factors (e.g., marital factors, social support, and religious practices); (iii) intra-personal factors (e.g., neuroticism, trait optimism, psychological flexibility, attachment style, and gender); and (iv) coping and appraisal, on parental bereavement outcomes. Challenges facing this area of research are discussed, and research and clinical implications considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: bereavement; palliative care; parents; risk factors; resilience factors bereavement; palliative care; parents; risk factors; resilience factors

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Jaaniste, T.; Coombs, S.; Donnelly, T.J.; Kelk, N.; Beston, D. Risk and Resilience Factors Related to Parental Bereavement Following the Death of a Child with a Life-Limiting Condition. Children 2017, 4, 96.

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