Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Daniel McKitrick, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jon Frew, Ph.D., ABPP

Third Advisor

Michel Hersen, Ph.D., ABPP


The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the long-term effects of bereavement on adults who experienced the death of a parent during childhood. By using a qualitative approach, this study is designed to gather information on each participant's unique understanding of how bereavement has impacted his or her life. This information is then used to identify general themes in childhood grief, focusing on long-term individual processes and comparing findings to current grief theories for children. Finally, implications for the conceptualization of children's bereavement process, for current child grief theories, for a new overarching child grief theory, and for future research in childhood bereavement are explored.