Research on the Impact of the Death of a Child 



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 sought to understand the experiences of the parents and if possible siblings, how they grieved, what was similar and what was different. I’d wanted to find out what helped and what hindered those impacted by the death of a son, daughter, brother or sister. 

The research began in Sept 2018 and was carried out via interviews with people who were willing to be interviewed about their experience. Each interview lasted between 1.5-2 hours and was carried out at a place chosen by the participant or online or by phone. 

The findings of the research are published in a book aimed at helping others who have experienced such a loss, their friends and family as well as other professionals. the book Understanding Bereaved Parents and Siblings: A Handbook for Professionals Family and Friends was published by Routledge in May 2021.



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