• Differential Effects of Single and Double Parental Death on Child Emotional Functioning and Daily Life in South Africa

      Sherr, Lorraine; Croome, Natasha; Clucas, Claudine; Brown, Elizabeth; University College London; University of Chester; Mad About Art Kynsa, SA (Child Welfare League of America, 2014-01-01)
      There is a high level of orphaning in Africa due to war, violence, and more recently HIV and AIDS. This study examines parental death in South African children and examines the differential impact on child functioning of double, single and non-orphanhoods. Bereavement, depression, behavior problems, and violence were examined in a consecutive sample of 381 children/adolescents (51.2% girls) between 8 and 19 years of age (M = 12.8). Parental death experience was high; 70 (17.5%) reported the death of one parent, and a further 24 (6%) reported the death of both. Group comparisons showed double orphans had elevated depression, worse psychosocial functioning, were more likely to be kept home from school for household chores, and were more likely to be slapped. Single orphans were more similar to the non-orphans than the double orphans on most scores. Our study reveals that parental loss should be studied with more fine-grained definitions and that emotional sequelae should be addressed.