A Canonical Correlational Analysis Exploring Characteristics of Children Presenting to Counseling for Grief and Loss

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To date, researchers who have explored the complexity of childhood bereavement have utilized unstandardized assessment instruments and/or have independently evaluated specific constructs rather than factoring in the dimensionality of loss. The purpose of this study was to use parents' completion of established instruments--the Child Behavior Checklist and the Parenting Stress Index--to examine the multivariate shared relationship between characteristics of bereaved children referred for counseling--their ages, genders, ethnicities, types of loss, and life stressors--and their behavioral manifestations as well as the relationship between these characteristics and levels of parent-child relational stress. Utilizing archival clinical files, I examined these characteristics from bereaved ... continued below

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vi, 145 pages : illustrations (chiefly color)

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Ener, Liz D. August 2015.

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  • Ener, Liz D.

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To date, researchers who have explored the complexity of childhood bereavement have utilized unstandardized assessment instruments and/or have independently evaluated specific constructs rather than factoring in the dimensionality of loss. The purpose of this study was to use parents' completion of established instruments--the Child Behavior Checklist and the Parenting Stress Index--to examine the multivariate shared relationship between characteristics of bereaved children referred for counseling--their ages, genders, ethnicities, types of loss, and life stressors--and their behavioral manifestations as well as the relationship between these characteristics and levels of parent-child relational stress. Utilizing archival clinical files, I examined these characteristics from bereaved children (N = 98) whose parents sought counseling services from two university-based counseling clinics. The sample consisted of 67 boys and 31 girls between the ages 3 and 11 years old (M = 6.28). The majority of participants (67%, n = 66) identified as Caucasian, 10% (n = 10) as African American, 10% (n = 10) as Hispanic/Latino, 6% as Bi-racial (n = 6), 4% as Native American (n = 4), and 2% as Asian (n = 2). A canonical correlational analyses (CCA) was conducted to examine relationship between characteristics of children and their subsequent behavioral manifestations. The full model was found to be statistically significant using the Wilks’s λ = .611 criterion, F(25, 328.41) = 1.862, p = .008. The R2 type effect size was .389, which indicates the full model explains about 39% of the variance shared between the two variable sets. A second CCA was conducted to explore the relationship between characteristics of bereaved children and levels of parent-child relational stress. The full model was found statistically to be significant using the Wilks’s λ = .790 criterion, F(10, 154) = 1.926, p = .045. The R2 type effect size was .210, which indicates the full model explains about 21% of the variance shared between the two variable sets. Overall, correlational findings from this study provided insight into bereaved children’s manifestations of loss and levels of parent-child relational stress as contingent upon specific characteristics. Specifically, results indicated a strong relationship between age and bereaved children’s behavioral manifestations. This finding reinforced the importance for clinicians to understand developmental implications when working with bereaved children. Furthermore, caregivers who reported minimal overall external stressors also reported less parent-child relational interference. This finding further emphasizes the importance for caregivers to maintain utmost stability for bereaved children.

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vi, 145 pages : illustrations (chiefly color)

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  • August 2015

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  • March 4, 2016, 4:14 p.m.

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  • April 28, 2017, 6:49 a.m.

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Ener, Liz D. A Canonical Correlational Analysis Exploring Characteristics of Children Presenting to Counseling for Grief and Loss, dissertation, August 2015; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804937/: accessed July 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .