How Teens Deal With Grief

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Adolescents experience multiple transitions during this period of growth and development. “According to Erikson’s (1963, 1968) theory of development, adolescence is characterized by individuation, separation, and the search for one’s identity” (Muselman & Wiggins, 2012, pg 230). Most scholars divide adolescence into three stages: early, middle and late adolescents (Muselman & Wiggins, 2012, pg. 230). During these three stages, adolescents begin to think differently and deal with changing relationships, values and behaviors (Muselman & Wiggins, 2012, pg. 230). It is important to understand how adolescents develop in order to understand how an adolescent might deal with grief.
There are many theories that examine the adolescent’s attempts to deal with grief; one such theory was developed by Moos.
According to Moos (1986), grieving adolescents must complete five sets of adaptive tasks: (a) establish the meaning and understand the personal significance of the event, (b) confront
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According to Bugge, Haugstvedt, Rokholt, Darbyshire and Helseth (2012), “Adolescents describe bereavement as tiring and themselves being ‘tired out’, physically, emotionally and cognitively, having much less energy than usual” (pg 2163). This study conducted analyzed the physical experiences adolescents typically have with grief and concluded that many students found it easier to discuss physical symptoms in counseling, versus emotional reactions (Bugge et al., 2012, pg. 2164). According to Sandra A. Lopez (2011), “It is important to understand adolescents as being uniquely different from others based on their community affiliations, which may be social, cultural, religious, and/or economical” (pg 10). All of the previously mentioned symptoms of grief and examples of why grief works differently in adolescents clearly define the need for counseling. Group counseling in the school setting would be beneficial to these

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