Parental Death, Grief and Bereavement: A Qualitative Study of College Students Who Have a Parent with Cancer

  •  Yong Tang    
  •  Yingying Li    


Objective The loss of a parent with cancer is one of the most traumatic events a college student can face. The purpose of this study was to identify the main elements of bereavement experiences among college students in China who lost a parent with cancer. Methods A total of 18 college students volunteered to take part in three focus groups. Results Four themes were developed through content analysis: facing huge life’s changes, experiencing loss and suffering, challenges and coping strategies for facing parental death, and re-interpreting death. These four main themes were then divided into 15 sub-themes. Conclusions The analysis showed that parental death may negatively influence college students’ bereavement processes. Bereavement should include screening to aid in the recognition of high-risk adolescents through screening survey and screening interviews.

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