Research Report

Part One: Program and Topic

  1. My program of study is Social Science (going into psychology in university)
  2. The death of a parent is tragic and could impact the life of the child by developing mental disorders such as PTSD.

Part Two: Interview

a. Corrie Sirota, private practitioner, clinical social worker, specialized in grief, loss and bereavement, psychotherapist

b. I chose to interview Corrie because I know people who’ve gone to her for grieving counseling and she has been very helpful. Also, she used to work at the sleep away camp I go to so it would be easier to contact her for an interview. I feel that it turned out to be an okay interview; she was able to open up my eyes to some information although I should have made her elaborate more on her answers.

c. I did my interview over FaceTime, there weren’t that much time that she was available so during her break of clients she made time for me to interview her. Even though it was not conducted in person I got to see where she was placed and she has two offices very similar, one at home and one at her office and they both give off a home feeling vibes which made it easier to connect and ask her heartfelt questions. It felt that we were two people interested in the same topic and having a genuine conversation. I thought it went in the direction I hopped and planned.

d. Corrie had a very open personality, she felt comfortable talking to me and I feel that she is a kind and genuine person. I feel that she didn’t expect some of the questions that were asked because she got caught off guard but even when that occurred she answered truthfully. She looked professional yet reassuring, in other words she dressed like a properly dressed mom going to work. She spoke very clearly and was able to answer each question as specific as she could to open up to a larger idea of the subject.

e. Q: I know you wrote a book called “Someone died… know what” and it is about people needing to deal with death, do you have any specific section that is the most memorable to you?

A: I like many of the chapters, but one of the most important chapters for me was the piece about laughter. I wrote a chapter about laughter because I wanted people to know that it is okay to move forward in your life and how important laughter is in terms of feeling, like relieving stress and finding happiness again.

Q: Thank you. Over the years do you feel that there have been a lot of children (aged eighteen and younger) who unfortunately needed to deal with the death of a parent and around how many would you say you dealt with?

A: There’s more today than, it seems to me there are more today that people are experiencing parents that have cancer, and children that are in elementary and high school need to deal with the loss of a parent. I have done a lot of crisis in intervention in schools, or camps, and different environments so I touch a lot of children or exposed to a lot of children over my career.

Q:  This is the last question, what do you think the most common metal or psychological illness could be impacted to a person after dealing with the death of a parent?

A: I don’t think there is a specific common one. I do see people who are concern about Post-Traumatic Stress, there not concerned but that is what I look for but I also look for people who feel that they are depressed and I have to access whether or not they are clinically depressed and/or are they grieving because they look a lot alike so people tend to think that they are suffering from depression but in fact they are just grieving. The way you know that is because if they don’t have a history of depression and when it comes to grieving there is a reason their grieving, when it comes to depression someone doesn’t necessarily need a reason to be depressed. Whether or not someone will have Post-Traumatic Stress, depends on their support system, what they have to believe in and/or faith that they have in whether it is religion or something and their ability to believe in themselves.

f) There is a chance that there are different kinds of losses. If a child is closer to the parent who died it obviously will be very painful, however if the child isn’t close to the parent who passed then it could lead to other development issues because they could never have the good relationship because they are no longer here. There are several losses, not just the loss of a parent but secondary losses as well. I thought that was interesting because I never thought of it in that way. It is different dependent on gender, relationship, and temperament of the child. Support is necessary.

Part Three: Textual Research Notes

Non-Academic Sources

Axelrod, Julie. “The 5 Stages of Loss and Grief.” Psych Central. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. <;.

According to Julie Axelrod there are many different stages in the grieving process. Each person grieves differently because everyone is unique. The five main stages are Denial and Isolation, stage two is when people get defensive and aggressive (angry), stage three is the bargaining stage (if A didn’t happen then B wouldn’t have happened either), stage four has two types, the main stage is depression although there is sadness and regret and the second is subtle and private where people need comforting but do not ask, the final stage is when people accept what happened. This could help in my article because it shows me the basic steps of the grieving process and how people will most likely react.

Nickerson, Angela. “The Lifelong Effects For A Child After The Death Of A Parent.” Therapy Blog. 24 Oct. 2011. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. <;.

Angela Nickerson was able to create a study by examining the after effects of a child once they undergo the loss of their parent. The results showed that when the child reaches adulthood there are consequences that occur such as psychological and mental health problems. If the child is younger at the time of the death, it is more likely to develop mental health process as they grow up. This could help me in my article because this study shows the impacts that children could develop by having a strong correlation by death of a parent at a young age and having an illness later on in life after having a sample of 2,823 adults who suffered from a death of a parent while they were children.

Loss of Parent, Teenager, Cancer | CancerCare.” CancerCare. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. <;.

This article shows the different ways to interact with a teenager after they experienced the death of a parent. There are different ways people grieve and it is typical for parents to pass away when they are older but when they are a child or teenager it is unique. This could help me in my article because it gives many facts of how teenagers could react, even though it doesn’t have to do with a mental disorder such as PTSD, it shows the unique impacts that could be taken place and be in consideration for their health in their future.

JAMA and Archives Journals. “Sudden Death Of A Parent May Pose Mental Health Risks For Children, Surviving Caregivers.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2008. <>.

This article is about the differences between children who have both living parents compared to a child with a parent who died, the results show that there is a very large correlation that if a child looses a parent they will develop depression or PTSD. This could help me in my article because it shows the differences of two types of children, the common two living parent child and the unique child where a parent past away.

Anthony. “What Is Traumatic Enough For Ptsd?” My PTSD Forum. 23 Dec. 2009. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. <;.

This article by Anthony mentions what it actually means to deal with a traumatic event; it means to deal with a situation where one feels powerless and in danger. This could benefit me in my article because they are many different definitions to what PTSD is and what a trauma is and how one could develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. There are two types of traumas, one being injured physically and the other being the body’s natural healing abilities.

Kearns, Carol. “Carol’s Columns.” Column: The Treatment of PTSD in the Bereaved Parent. 2014. Web. 7 Mar. 2016. <;.

Carol Kearns is showing how in the DSM-5, the criteria needed to know if someone is dealing with PTSD.  The DSM is a source that psychologist use to know the criteria of a mental illness. This is a very useful article because Carol Kearns was able to bullet point each of the six criteria in having PTSD and relating it to the death or a parent as a child and the death of a child as a parent.

Academic Sources

Dietrich, David R. “Psychological health of young adults who experienced early parent death: MMPI trends.” Journal of clinical psychology 40.4 (1984): 901-908.

This study by David Dietrich shows the psychological impacts of children and adolescents after dealing with the death of a parent. This could help me because it shows different illness that could be developed at different stages of age in life as well as differences between the loss of a mother versus the loss of a father. This study compared the lives of children and adolescents who did not lose a parent and compare their results as well so it gives a deeper impact in knowing more about the outcomes.

Kuntz, Barbara. “Exploring the Grief of Adolescents After the Death of a Parent.” Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 4.3 (1991). Print.

The study by Barbara Kuntz explores 26 adolescents who dealt with the death of a parent during their adolescent years, the participants needed to describe and draw about the death. Results showed participants who felt they had closure were more open to talking about the death versus other adolescents impact their developmental stages. This could help me in my article because it shows that closure is a good way to deal with death and it shows other possible treatments other than seeing a psychologist or thinking a mental illness is involved.

Stikkelbroek, Yvonne, P Prinzie, Graaf R. de, Have M. Ten, and P Cuijpers. “Parental Death During Childhood and Psychopathology in Adulthood.” Psychiatry Research. 198.3 (2012): 516-20. Print.

Yvonne Stikkebroek conducted a study of a sample size of 7076 participants between the ages 18 and 64, he discovered that a large amount of participants (541) has a mental illness and each of those participants dealt with the death of a parent before the age of sixteen years old. This could help me in my article because this proves that there is a very strong relationship with the death of a parent as an adolescent and the influence of developing a mental illness.  The most common illness is depression.

Dowdney, Linda. “Annotation: Childhood Bereavement Following Parental Death.”Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 41.7 (2000): 819-830. Print.

Linda Dowdney discovers in her study that one in five children who dealt with the death of a parent will develop a psychiatric disorder; it also shows that death of a parent shows more in boys than in girls. This could help me in my article because it shows me the differences between the sexes and how some children could develop illness and how some do not. This could give me a clearer way to knowing how PTSD and other mental illness could influence the impacts of the children for their future. It says that PTSD and comorbid depression is more common if the parents’ death was involved with murder or suicide.

One thought on “Research Report

  1. commanderjeffgandell says:

    Here is your challenge for this article: you need to present this topic to us in a way that is not clinical or scientific. You need to show us the real human side of what it means to lose a parent as a child. You need to paint a picture for us of what PTSD. Forget about technical jargon and scientific terms. That’s not going to cut it. This is not a research or a scientific paper. It’s a general interest piece. So, you have to make us feel the trauma of losing a parent as a child, using imagery and all of the techniques we’ve been discussing.

    Now, obviously, this is extra challenging because this is such a difficult topic. But, it’s entirely possible to do this very well. And, in fact, it doesn’t need to be a difficult article to read. But, it has to be a human article to read. I’m saying all this because your academic sources are very technical and scientific. This is totally fine. But, it’s up to you to translate this into human terms for us. At the same time, your non-academic sources are not good examples of feature articles. In a way, they’re overly simple and not insightful enough.

    Now, in painting a human portrait of PTSD it’s not completely necessary to include personal experience. But, if you feel comfortable doing so, it could add to your paper. Again, not an easy subject to talk about, but if you’re up for the challenge it could be really impactful. Please come and speak to me if you’d like any help with this.


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