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Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute & Society

WebMD: Most Kids Adjust to Sudden Death of a Parent

But Study Shows 10% of Children Who Lose a Parent Are at Risk for Depression

By Denise Mann
WebMD Health News

Sept. 6, 2011 -- Losing a parent can be difficult at any age. Researchers in a new study in the Archives of General Psychiatry seek to better understand how loss, including the sudden death of a parent, affects children and teens.

More than half of children and teens will adjust to the sudden loss of a parent within one year. But others have difficulty coming to terms with this loss and may face a higher risk of depression that interferes with their lives, the study shows."People used to think that all children and adolescents are resilient and don't show grief or have it," says study researcher Nadine M. Melhem, PhD, of the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

The study shows that this is not always the case.


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