An Exploration into the Occupational Experiences of Parentally Bereaved Adolescents
Adolescence involves the imperative developmental process from child to adult, ranging from age 10 to 19. Within the United Kingdom, statistics suggest parental bereavement of children is higher than imagined. Adolescents are directly impacted by bereavement, this may be emotionally or psychologically, or this may inhibit their ability to cope at home. School and social environments may be disrupted as bereaved adolescents may begin to engage in negative behaviours. Thus, this population should not be left unattended, the need for healthcare professionals to provide sufficient support is of great importance. In the form of a literature review, literature surrounding the effects parental bereavement can have on children/adolescents are explored. The aim of the literature review is to attempt to understand how bereaved adolescents are affected and to what extent the literature investigates how the effects impact upon daily life. Additionally, the literature review will discuss the current need for more research and intervention from healthcare professionals regarding this vulnerable population. Three themes, including sub themes are identified and discussed in relation to this subject. Occupational therapists are concerned with identifying the occupational needs of individuals who are unable to engage in their desired occupations. A research proposal will be outlined as evidenced by the literature review. A qualitative research design originating from a form of phenomenology will utilise focus group discussions to explore the occupational experiences of parentally bereaved adolescents. With the objective to understand how bereavement is affecting participation in day to day activities and highlight any potential occupational needs. Additionally, possible limitations to this research are discussed, including recommendations for any future research.