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Death and Resilience

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Death of a parent, as we all know, has some seriously devastating social and psychological effects on the children. Parents are always everything to children, in case of a death of a parent children are always thoroughly disoriented .This greatly affects their growth and development negatively. In some instances, children from such families tend to be socially maladjusted or even become dysfunctional, discuss the independent variable only, and not the measures. Whenever parents die, children are always left in a rather vulnerable state, which predisposes them to quite a number of dangers. Some become permanently traumatised; others never manage to cope with the hard times and are always left with no option other than succumbing to serious emotional problems like stress. Children who are unfortunate to be in such situation always have problems with comfortably adopting to life. They ,in most cases, struggle so hard with the trauma and the social stigma .

Hypothesis

In this study, there are quite a number of hypothesis that are used in the quest for answers and solutions to this problem. The researchers of this study have basically hypothesized that some of the following independent variables. First, it’s believed that there are so many variables and dynamics that come at play. Factors that influence adjustment of the lifestyle that a child lives are suspected to greatly affect how he or she will be mentally and emotionally. Another very vital variable is gender; the gender of a child is very likely to affect his or her mental state. Girls tend to be very emotive and have always had some sentimental attachment to their parents, especially to their mothers. The death of either parent has very serious negative effects on the social well being of a girl child. The gender of the parent who dies suddenly also matters, in case of the death of one parent. To some children who are so attached to either of the parents, the death of that said parent may have some very devastating psychological effects on them.

According to Schneider, B., Grebner, K., Schnabel, A., &Georgi, K. (2011), engaging in activities like adopting the child to foster parents, much has to be put in consideration. The characteristics of the new family and whether they can jell with the child’s lifestyle, the involvement or un-involvement of extended family must be put into consideration so that in case they are providing substantial support, the whole idea of taking up the child for adoption in another family should be shelved. The whole idea of adoption may be very helpful in as far as boosting the self-esteem of the child is concerned, his or her confidence, ability to cope, frequency of communication and coping with whatever amount of parental distress that is present after the death of a parent. Failure to take care of such aspects in the life of such a child may negatively influence the dependent variable of resiliency .The independent variables will definitely mitigate, worsen, or aid the dependent variable of resiliency dependent on the presence or levels at which the independent variables are found. The independent variable in such a case matter a lot in determining the resilience of such a child.

According to Brent, D., Melhem, N., Donohoe, M., & Walker, M. (2009), the nature or type of the parental death is also another very determining factor that must greatly affect children. Violent and brutal deaths may have more effect on the children, causing them permanent trauma. When a parent has been ailing or has been terminally ill, therefore his or her death expected would produce slightly different results than when the death of a parent is that of the unexpected nature. The period of time since the death is likely to determine how intense the grief is in the child. In case the death of a parent happened long ago, like, decades ago, it is believed that the effects it may have on the mental health of a child is totally different from that case whereby the death of a parent is still very fresh in the mind of a child. Children tend to be very emotional and weak, and whenever such an occurrence occurs to them they tend to be much traumatised.

Brown, A. C., Sandler, I. N., Tein, J., Liu, X., &Haine, R. A. (2007), stated that there are so many other factors that can come at play .Most of these have to be keenly looked at for they may saliently affect the mental state of a child in the long run. Others may include changes of a child like after the parent’s death, pre-existing factors that were present before the death. In case the child had a very good personal relationship with his or her dead parents,upon their death he or she will have a very difficult time to come to terms with the fact that they have lost someone very special in their life and they wont be in apposition to ever have them again. What happens to a child after the death, for instance, of both parents greatly affects him or her.

The age at which the death of the parent was experienced, affects children differently. Other research shows that in case a parent died, when a child is too small to even notice it, it may not be very impactful compared to when the death occurs at a time, when a child is relatively big and able to understand what is happening. A relatively grown up child who understands death is more likely to be very devastated and traumatised upon the death of his or her parent. Some children tend to be a bit stronger emotionally and hence their high levels of resilience after such a traumatising incident like death of a parent.

The relationship that a child has with the deceased parent matters a lot in determining the intensity of the mental problem or emotional state of a child in regard to the death of that said parent. The flipside of this also comes with lots of dynamics, the relationship that the child may be having with his or her surviving parent, the treatment that the child has after the death, the culture of the child in relation to that of those who take care of him or her after the parents` death. This has been a very delicate procedure; a lot has to be taken in consideration to ensure that the child manages to cope up with life. For instance, some of the barriers that impede return to normalcy the child may be facing have to be done away with the negative events that follow the demise of the parent must be avoided at all costs. All the stressors that come after the death must be done away with. 

Literature Review

According to science Daily (May 5, 2008) — kids whose parent die suddenly are more likely to have the risk of intense depression-in fact three times more, than those with both parents living, along with a relatively high risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . In the western countries, almost four percent of children experience the death of one of their parents. This is according to background information found in the article. Parents, who suffer from psychiatric disorders, for instance mood disorders and related ones like substance abuse, are very likely to die from accidents, suicide and heart disease (Hurd, R. C. 2004). Pundits have it that, the same psychiatric and emotional factors that are likely to increase a parents' risk of suddenly dying, also dangerously predispose their children to quite similar mental health complications and problems. More has to be done to help children, whose parent die and leave them in the state of destitution, both emotionally and socially.

Nadine M. Melhem, Ph.D., from the Pittsburgh Medicine School together with a host of colleagues, identified one hundred and forty (140) families in which a parent had died of suicide, road accident or suddenly died naturally. This was compared with some one hundred control families from which both parents were alive and none of their close relatives had died in the preceding two years. The children, whose ages ranged from seven (7) to twenty five (25), were interviewed and assessed for psychiatric disorders, and the psychiatric histories of their parents reviewed.

It was found out that those children, whose folks had died, were at a very high risk of undergoing depression and other traumatizing post-traumatic stress disorder than those of the control families. This relationship remained even after controlling for the independent variable-psychiatric disorders, in the dead parent. Children from those families, where one parent had succumbed due to factors like suicide were not likely to develop post traumatic stress disorder or other related psychiatric disorders than those in families that had had one parent die of other causes. Death of a parent or both is ,according to experts, always associated with causing great depression, post traumatic stress disorder ,anxiety, suicidal behavior and other complicated emotional problems, like severe and lasting unhappiness commonly referred to as grief.

According to the most of the experts in matters concerning child psychology, are of the view that their findings have profoundly important clinical and health implications. They believe that the best way to mitigate the devastating effects of parental bereavement in children is to prevent unnecessary early death in their folks by improving, for instance, detection and consequently treatment of illnesses like bipolar, personality disorders and substance /alcohol abuse and by holistically addressing all the lifestyle correlates that are associated with these illnesses that are likely to lead to premature death (Howarth, R. A. (2011).

It is always recommended that, when a parent or both die, the surviving caregivers must be monitored for illnesses like depression and post traumatic stress disorders since their psychiatric and mental health drastically affects that of the children they are taking care of. "Given the high risk of depression and post traumatic stress disorder, bereaved children should be closely monitored and immediately treated for any their psychiatric disorder," Nadine M. Melhem said. It’s also said that further studies should be done to examine the long-term effect that bereavement has on children to test for the mechanisms by which these parental bereavement causes these effects to identify some of the subset of bereaved families that may be in need of treatment, hence framing targets for timely intervention and preventive efforts.

According to Bonanno, G. A. (2008) and most of the information gathered from most of the studies carried out on this problem, many medical practitioners are of the opinion that pediatricians should be much aware of circumstances surrounding the death of a parent, as well as the other family problems, which may be deemed as risk factors for a child’s mental disorders. Another implication for the pediatric practice is that once they(pediatricians) become aware of the increased risk of off springs due to sudden death of their parents or other adversities is the family , the pediatrician are encouraged to take up the responsibility of helping ,by linking children with the appropriate services. According to Haine, R. A., Ayers, T. S., Sandler, I. N., &Wolchik, S. A. (2008), to do this effectively, the pediatricians ought to be familiar with some of the services that are offered in various communities and the evidence that backs up their effectiveness.  Pediatricians are required to be very keen on some of the measures they take in their efforts to help children who lost their parents. A good example of such services is a kind of care given to such children be it humanitarian or being incorporated in other existing families or better yet out up in children’s  homes. According to Quiroz P.(2008), after his critical study of the kind of care children are given after such traumatizing situations, such as death of their parents, he concluded that indeed more stringent measures have to be put in place to ensure that no child suffers due to the death of his or her parent. Parents dying and leaving young children behind is a common phenomena across the world. This is a social aspect of society that is popularly viewed and considered by many as a humanitarian issue, which cuts across geopolitical boundaries of different nations. Nations across the world need to come up with a better way to help such children to adopt to normal life and help them overcome the social stigma that comes with being an orphan.

According to Draper, A., & Hancock, M. (2011), government authorities must get concerned about a bout the mental health of such children and also come up with policies that are aimed at ensuring that they enjoy life just like other privileged children with both parents alive. It is important to note and ponder about how trends and other dynamic aspects, which take place during the care of children whose parents died .The author, used profound methodology to get to understand why factors like age of the child matter a lot in determining the intensity of the depression and stress that affects the child. Most children, who lose both parents at a very young age, if well taken care of by guardians, may not even have any problems later in life. Some respondents during the research intimated that some of these children are never told that their parents died while they were at a very young age, they are just taken care of and made to believe that their care givers are their biological parents.

From his findings, transnational adoption patterns for the past 16 years show a shift in racial structure. In the past 16 years, the majority of adoptions have been in most cases from the white categories and 20% of adoptions were from the black category. Countries of origin of adopted children consider programs that are offered by the US private adoption agencies, Data about transnational patterns concerning adoption clearly, show which kind of children are most preferred( Eppler, C. 2008). The author winds it up by adding value to it, in the sense that he asserts that no one has considered adoption as another social indicator of intimacy.

The author of this essay attempted to look at some of the related problems whenever children are orphaned. He argued that that the care that children whose parents died could be such an awesome solution can serve as a potential solution for children who are destitute from developing world. In his review of other literatures by other researchers, he notes that there is a heated debate in their literatures regarding how to help children whose parents die. It is a controversial issue that is seen as a positive act of humanitarian goodwill. His recommendation among others is that the international community ought to move its focus away from political hostilities and or even  symbolic gestures, instead focus on coming up with laws and policies, which should enable these disadvantaged children live comfortably.

To advance his research, he used research findings and works of advocates of child support (Bartholet, 2010). Taking a more skeptical opinion on how to handle or help orphaned children, he cited that the politics of how important children are to any nation should assist us to understand why this issue continues to be so highly charged. There are two commonly talked about narratives in the Western world concerning how children whose parents die can be assisted in their attempt to cope with their the trauma, these are negligence and kidnap, he argues that we need to shift from those views and focus more on the welfare of the children whose parents died.

The complexities and complicated processes that non governmental organization taken through are all aimed at ensuring that no one takes advantage of such vulnerable children and also to allow protection to their rights(Heinzer, Marjorie Vyhnalek 1993).  He, however, believes that it is necessary that the process actually reduces the negative effect it has on children. He concurs with the general and popular belief that the greatest danger that the care or coping mechanisms that they are normally subjected to is the poor living standards and conditions that children are taken through. This was evident after talking to one such child Deirdre, from whom I learnt a lot.Deirdre, thank you for taking your time to talk about your experience at wall street. I am very much aware of these protestors as they are really close to where I work and I see them every day when I go out on my lunch break. Just like you mentioned they are very young and all they want is to have their voices heard. And all their concerns addressed by the authorities. My co-worker also went a couple of times to see them, he said it was like an assembly where people will get all together have their own speeches one by one, while others will repeat what they were saying so everyone can hear clearly their messages. A lot of them where holding different types flags from their own country. My Co-worker said it reminded him like back in the days. I personally came across them as well they had their signs up and protesting for what they believe that justice should be and they will continue fighting for this economy that is only affecting the poor people. This is a good cause to protest.

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