Year: 2013 Source: Death Studies.(2003).27(1):39-61.doi:10.1080/07481180302871 SIEC No: 20130186

In this article, the authors revisit a controversial issue in the bereavement field: Does one violent cause of death of a child influence parents’ outcomes more than another? To address this question, we observed 173 parents prospectively 4, 12, 24, and 60 months after their children’s deaths by accident, suicide, or homicide. Quantitative and qualitative research methods were used to examine the influence of three types of a child’s violent death and timesince death upon 4 parent outcomes (mental distress, post-tramatic stress disorder PTSD, acceptance of the child’s death, and marital satisfaction). The results showed a significant interaction for the bereavement Group 2 Time effect for acceptance of death, a significant main effect for time for all four outcomes, and a significant main effect for group (homicide) for PTSD. Nearly 70% of the parents reported that it took either 3 or 4 years to put their children’s death into perspective and continue with their own lives; however the child’s cause of death did not significantly influence parents’ sense of timing in this regard. Clinical and research implications of the findings are discussed.