Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Bereavement in Children and Teens

Bereavement is a temporary sadness related to a major loss. Bereavement typically lasts less than 2 months after the loss, but some symptoms of bereavement may last as long as 6 months. Some reasons children or teens feel bereaved include:1

  • Loss of a boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Ending of a friendship.
  • Death of a pet.
  • Death of a family member or close friend.
  • Parents' divorce.
  • Moving.
  • Changing schools or grade levels.

Mourning a loss is healthy as long as the child has a sense of reality about the death or loss and eventually is able to accept the loss as part of life. Most children will occasionally become sad about their loss again at different times during the next few months or even years.

Recommended Related to Children

Treatment of Newly Diagnosed and Recurrent Childhood Brain Tumors

The brain is made of different kinds of cells. Childhood brain tumors are grouped and treated based on the type of cell the cancer formed in and where the tumor began growing in the CNS. Some types of tumors are divided into subtypes based on how the tumor looks under a microscope. See Table 1 for a list of tumor types and staging and treatment information for newly diagnosed and recurrent childhood brain tumors.

Read the Treatment of Newly Diagnosed and Recurrent Childhood Brain Tumors article > >

If bereavement is constant and lasts longer than 2 months or is associated with feelings of guilt, thoughts of death, or a preoccupation with worthlessness, the child may be experiencing major depression instead.

Citations

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (1996). Classification of Child and Adolescent Mental Diagnoses in Primary Care: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Primary Care Child and Adolescent Version, pp. 153-160. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Last Revised April 5, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 05, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

preschool age girl sitting at desk
Article
look at my hand
Slideshow
 
woman with cleaning products
Slideshow
young boy with fever
Article
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

WebMD Special Sections