Depending on cognitive and emotional development, an adolescent may grieve very differently than a child or an adult. While mature enough to understand death's irreversibility, adolescents may not fully comprehend the enduring consequences of a loved one's death. As the desire to separate from their families and forge new intimate relationships with peers assumes increasing priority, adolescents can seem egocentric in their reaction to death, a response which often frustrates and perplexes adults. Because volatile behavior is characteristic of adolescence, health providers struggle to differentiate between normal and complicated bereavement. Here we review the commonly-accepted characteristics of normal and complicated grief for both early and middle adolescents and consider factors which influence adolescent bereavement, such as the relationship with the deceased, the circumstances of the death, and religious and cultural implications.

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Book Chapter

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in School, Adolescence, and Health Issues. Joav Merrick, Ariel Tenenbaum, & Hatim A. Omar, (Eds.). p. 97-108.

©2014 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

The copyright holder has granted permission for posting the article here.

Reprinted as an article in International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health, v. 3, issue 3, p. 331-340.