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Research on the Impact of the Death of a Child – Participants Needed.


The death of a child is something that has a unique quality that makes it different from other forms of grief. It is more complicated and complex as well as surrounded by shame, anger and an overwhelming sense of failure as a parent and guilt for the surviving sibling(s).

This is a specific area of interest for me and one that I feel is rarely talked about, let alone researched.  I would like to understand the experiences of the parents and if possible sibling, how they may grieve, what is similar and what is different. I’d also like to find out what helped and what hindered those impacted by the death. 

The findings of the research may be published in professional counselling and psychotherapy journals and will contribute to a book or a series of books which will be aimed at helping others who have experienced such a loss, their friends and family as well as other professionals.


The research will be carried out via interviews with people who are willing to be interviewed about their experience. It is anticipated that the interviews will last between 1.5-2 hours. There may be follow up interviews if either more time is needed or if something arises in the research that would benefit from further explorations with the participants.


The interviews will be carried out at a place chosen by the participant, this could be close to their home, at a central location or even online. 


The interviews will start in September 2018. 


The participants can be anyone who has been impacted by the death of a child, whether this is a parent or sibling. They could also be a very close family member e.g. a grandparent. If a number of members of the same family are willing to be interviewed that would be an added bonus.


If you are interested in more information and in taking part in the research, then please contact Dr Cathy McQuaid either by using the contact form - here -  or phone her on 07428 551163.