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Parental Loss: The Effects On Teens

3803 words - 15 pages

IntroductionThe focus of this research paper is on how a teen can and or does cope with the loss of a parent. It focuses on the specific problems that a teen faces as opposed to the "problems" that an adult or child in the grieving process. Although teenagers and children are exceptional groups in the mourning paradigm (because their very selves are still developing) teens possess cognitive abilities that children do not. Their thought processes can be likened more to an "underdeveloped" adult as opposed to an overdeveloped child. This is not only biologically apparent in terms of physiological development but also in the expectations and challenges that society presents to teens in the social and emotional arena of "life". Teens are beginning to rely more on their peers and their own selves rather than a parent. They are expected to demonstrate increased maturity and "superior" (when compared to the child stage) decision making skills. It is safe to say that the emotional and identity "seeds" that have been implanted in them in childhood are beginning to ripen. They are seeking nourishment and understanding (even if they do not fully realize it). Their roots are spreading and reaching for strongholds that will or at least are supposed to give them a "base" that will last the rest of their lives.This paper hopes to make one realize that if this "searching" and development is disrupted that the teen is in great danger, for their very basis of existence has been if not stunted challenged; and that overcoming these "challenges" will take a considerable energy, and this very energy (one of the parents) has been sacrificed if you will. Therefore, the teen is forced to generate their own energy and if they do not do this there is a great deal at stake.We will see that some of the challenges that the teen will face; suicidal tendencies, melancholia, anxiety, impaired abilities to create meaningful relationships. This paper not only hopes to extrapolate on the symptoms that a teen may experience after the loss of a parent but also emphasize the importance of the teen's receiving proper support and counseling and to help one recognize what the content of that support should be.A teenager may use evasion, repression, suppression, denial, anger, or melancholia as coping strategies. These coping strategies will be expressed through the specific personality of the individual, however it is quite safe to say that the coping strategies are no secret and can be discerned and "dealt" with by a qualified psychologist. Also, it is important to recognize the significance of support systems in the teenager's life such as family support and social support.Teens that have lost a parent or both parents often cope by using suppression and or repression. These two terms can be easily confused. Suppression is being conscious of a thought but not wanting to think about it. Repression on the other hand is not being conscious of the thought in the first place but,...

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