Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors




Bereavement, due to the loss of family and friends, affects approximately 3.7 million children per year in the United States. These losses can have lasting effects such as changed dynamics within a family, decreased academic performance, and poor physical and mental health that not only inhibit a child's ability to function normally but if not dealt with sufficiently can persist into adulthood.

The primary purpose of this study was to determine if individuals who experienced a loss in childhood exhibit more mental health problems in adulthood than those who did not. A survey was administered to 209 college students requesting information about previous mental health history and any loss that may have occurred during childhood. A standardized measure of psychological distress, the OQ 45.2, was given to assess current (adult) mental health. The results indicated that participants' scores on the OQ questionnaire were not significantly correlated with loss in childhood. The relationships between the rates of mental health disorders, therapy or counseling and medication and childhood bereavement were also not significant. However, it is interesting to observe that participants could easily report specific factors that helped them or did not help them in getting through their losses and experiencing an effective grieving process.

Included in

Psychology Commons



Faculty Mentor

Gretchen Gimpel Peacock

Departmental Honors Advisor

Scott Bates