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How Common Is Grief For Children & Teens?

Recent research efforts to quantify the prevalence of children who experience the death of a parent or sibling clearly demonstrate how vital it is for teachers, school personnel, and others working with students to increase their awareness, understanding, and skills in responding to grief in this population. 

The Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model (CBEM) from the JAG Institute in Denver, CO, has a series of easy to understand infographics showing the likelihood that a child will experience the death of a parent or sibling by age 18. They provide data for the entire US and for each state.

"According to recent estimates from the JAG Institute/Judi's House, 1 in 14 children in the U.S. will experience the death of a parent or sibling before they reach age 18. This means more than 4.8 million U.S. youth are bereaved—and this number more than doubles by age 25."

 

Why Is It Important To Support Children & Teens In Grief?

Adapted from the Harvard University's Center on the Developing Child, the JAG Institute/Judi's House identifies the "cost of inaction" when it comes to creating supportive environments for grieving children & teens. Experiencing the death of a significant person can disrupt a child's development. Supportive factors such as peer support, stable caregivers, and positive role models can buffer against this disruption. 

 

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