Prevalence and Correlates of Complicated Grief among Parentally Bereaved Children in Siaya County, Kenya.

Abstract

Death of a parent is considered as the most traumatic event that a child could go through. The psychological vulnerability coupled with sociocultural factors associated with bereavement further predispose children to risks of developing complicated grief. Although many of the reactions experienced by bereaved children are below the level that would indicate a disorder, orphaned children experience the significant difficulty that warrants clinical diagnosis and treatment. Considering that complicated grief in children is a less researched area particularly in Kenya, there is limited literature on the prevalence of complicated grief among orphaned children. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of orphaned children aged 10-15 years in selected public primary schools in Siaya County and assess risk factors associated with the development of complicated grief. The participants in this study were orphaned children who had experienced the death of at least one parent. A total of 426 orphans from 12 public primary schools were screened using the Brief Grief Questionnaire (BGQ). Those found to have elevated grief scores on the BGQ were then administered the Inventory for Complicated Grief to determine the clinical levels of grief. Out of the 426 participants screened, there were 397 valid screens in which 34% (n=134) scored less than 5 points while 263 participants (66%) scored 5 points and above indicating that they had significantly elevated/pathological grief symptoms. A binomial test was used to determine the prevalence of grief, and linear regression analysis was used to establish risk factors associated with complicated grief. Using the Inventory for Complicated Grief (ICG), to determine the clinical levels, a mean grief score of 31.6 (SD = 9.52) was recorded. The results further revealed that the number of siblings, separation from siblings, and level of closeness to deceased mother were associated with significantly elevated grief scores while age, gender and level of closeness with deceased father were not associated with increased levels of grief. The results on prevalence and risk factors are critical in identifying bereaved children at high risk of developing complicated grief and targeting grief interventions for these vulnerable groups.

Description

Journal Article

Keywords

Complicated grief, Orphaned children, Parental death, Pathological grief

Citation

Ngesa, M. O., Tuikong, S. & Ongaro, K.(2020): Prevalence and Correlates of Complicated Grief among Parentally Bereaved Children in Siaya County, Kenya.: African Journal of Clinical Psychology

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