Understanding and Meeting the Needs of Children Following Family Member Death

This study, funded by Sesame Workshop, is the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress Child and Family Program’s  preliminary research initiative into the area of family bereavement. It addresses the impact of parental death on children and their caretakers in both military and civilian populations by evaluating the helpfulness of a Sesame Workshop DVD and supplemental materials designed for grieving families. The study collects data on the health and wellbeing of surviving children (ages 2–18) who have lost a parent since September 11, 2001 as observed by  their current caretaker. The purpose is to better understand diverse experiences and needs in bereavement.  The study also evaluates the usefulness of the Sesame materials for the survivors and their grieving process.  Data have been collected throughout 2010. Initial results of the project were provided to Sesame Workshop in January 2011. This study has provided a springboard for further Child and Family Program bereavement related research.