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This study described 6-year to 12-year-old children's responses 7 and 13 months after siblings' NICU/PICU/ED death. Using semi-structured interviews, at 7 months, children were asked about events around their sibling's death. At both 7 and 13 months, children were asked about their thoughts and feelings about the deceased, concerns or fears, and life changes since the death. Thirty one children (58% female), recruited from four South Florida hospitals and Florida obituaries, participated. Children's mean age was 8.4 years; 64.5% were Black, 22.5% Hispanic, 13% White. Interviews were analyzed using conventional content analysis. Resulting themes: circumstances of the death, burial events, thinking about and talking to the deceased sibling, fears, and life changes. Most children knew their sibling's cause of death, attended funeral/memorials, thought about and talked to their deceased sibling, reported changes in family and themselves over the 13 months. Fears (something happening to themselves, parents, other siblings-death, cancer, being snatched away) decreased from 7 to 13 months especially in 7-year to 9-year-olds. Seven-year to 9-year-olds reported the greatest change in themselves from 7 to 13 months. More Black children and girls thought about the deceased and reported more changes in themselves over the 13 months. School aged children thought about and talked with their deceased sibling, reported changes in themselves and their family and their fears decreased over the first 13 months after their sibling's death.


Author's Accepted Manuscript.

The final published version can be found in J Child Fam Stud.



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