Dealing with Dying, Death, and Grief during Adolescence
Routledge – 2014 – 268 pages
For some, life’s introduction to death and grief comes early, and when it does it can take many forms. Not only does Dealing with Dying, Death, and Grief during Adolescence tackle them all, it does so with David Balk’s remarkable sensitivity to and deep knowledge of the pressures and opportunities adolescents face in their transition from childhood to adulthood. In seamless, jargon-free language, Balk brings readers up to date with what we know about adolescent development, because over time such changes form the backstory we need to comprehend the impact of death and bereavement in an adolescent’s life. The book’s later chapters break down the recent findings in the study of life-threatening illness and bereavement during adolescence. And, crucially, these chapters also examine interventions that assist adolescents coping with these difficulties. Clinicians will come away from this book with both a grounded understanding of adolescent development and the adolescent experience of death, and they’ll also gain specific tools for helping adolescents cope with death and grief on their own terms. For any clinician committed to supporting adolescents facing some of life’s most difficult experiences, this integrated, up-to-date, and deeply insightful text is simply the book to have.
David E. Balk is professor in the department of health and nutrition sciences at Brooklyn College (CUNY), where he directs the graduate program in thanatology. He is the author of Adolescent Development: Early Through Late Adolescence, Helping the Bereaved College Student, and several other books on death and bereavement. He is also co-editor of the 2nd edition of the Handbook of Thanatology (Routledge, 2013).
"Dealing with Dying, Death, and Grief during Adolescence provides an engaging and provocative wealth of integrated research and practical tools for understanding and assisting adolescents through life-changing experiences. Under the guiding framework of developmental-systems theory, Balk draws from bereavement research and cross disciplines to compellingly address the needs of grieving adolescents."
—Donna L. Schuurman, EdD, FT, CEO, The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families
"How timely and needed is this book! David Balk has brought a professional lifetime of expertise, stories, sensitivity, and creativity as he synthesizes a diverse literature into a readable and informative discussion of adolescent experiences and responses to many forms of death. Educators, parents, youth workers, and others who interact with youth are increasingly aware of the significance of an informed understanding as they interact with teens affected by death. Balk’s book is perfectly timed and exquisitely written with a magical blend of theory, research, personal stories, and case histories. This is a resource to be treasured."
—Illene Noppe Cupit, PhD, professor of human development at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay
"Dealing with Dying, Death, and Grief during Adolescence is an essential authoritative resource that provides a comprehensive, state-of-the-art account of the impact of death, dying, and bereavement in adolescence. A renowned expert in the field of child and adolescent loss and grief, Balk brings together a systematic overview of the impact of these events on adolescents and also examines a range of evidence-informed interventions that can assist adolescents. This is an essential resource for anyone engaged in research on adolescence or for those who provide effective clinical support to dying or bereaved adolescents."
—Christopher Hall, director of the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement
1. Adolescent Development and Serious Life Crises 2. Adolescent Development: Physical, Cognitive, and Personal Changes 3. Ecological Niches for Adolescents: Family, Peers, School, Media, and Gangs 4. Coping Responses of Adolescents 5. Principal Causes of Death during Adolescence: Accidents, Murder, Suicide 6. Chronic, Life-Threatening Disease and Terminal Illness during Adolescence 7. Trauma 8. Bereavement 9. Bereavement, Grief, and Mourning during Adolescence 10. Interventions 11. Beyond Websites: The Relevance of the Internet and Technology for Adolescents Coping with Illness and Loss 12. Some Final Thoughts
David E. Balk is professor in the department of health and nutrition sciences at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, where he directs the graduate program in thanatology. He is the author of Adolescent Development: Early Through Late Adolescence, Helping the Bereaved College Student, and several other books on death and bereavement. He is also co-editor of the second edition of the Handbook of Thanatology (Routledge, 2013).