Parental Loss: The Effects on Teens

Essay by ErichCollege, Undergraduate April 2007

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IntroductionThe focus of this research paper is on how a teen can and or does cope with the loss of a parent. It focuses on the specific problems that a teen faces as opposed to the "problems" that an adult or child in the grieving process. Although teenagers and children are exceptional groups in the mourning paradigm (because their very selves are still developing) teens possess cognitive abilities that children do not. Their thought processes can be likened more to an "underdeveloped" adult as opposed to an overdeveloped child. This is not only biologically apparent in terms of physiological development but also in the expectations and challenges that society presents to teens in the social and emotional arena of "life". Teens are beginning to rely more on their peers and their own selves rather than a parent. They are expected to demonstrate increased maturity and "superior" (when compared to the child stage) decision making skills.

It is safe to say that the emotional and identity "seeds" that have been implanted in them in childhood are beginning to ripen. They are seeking nourishment and understanding (even if they do not fully realize it). Their roots are spreading and reaching for strongholds that will or at least are supposed to give them a "base" that will last the rest of their lives.

This paper hopes to make one realize that if this "searching" and development is disrupted that the teen is in great danger, for their very basis of existence has been if not stunted challenged; and that overcoming these "challenges" will take a considerable energy, and this very energy (one of the parents) has been sacrificed if you will. Therefore, the teen is forced to generate their own energy and if they do not do this there is a great deal...