Thesis Title

Bereavement, Grief and Juvenile Delinquency: A Participation Study

Graduation Date

Spring 2008

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madalienne Peters, EdD


Based on ten years worth of observation of adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system, this study explored the relationship between bereavement, grief and juvenile delinquency. The nature of the connection between childhood and adolescent bereavement and juvenile delinquency was investigated using a psychologically and sociologically based multidisciplinary framework. After considering the implications of Western bereavement theory, developmental theories of childhood and adolescent bereavement, and Agnew’s (1992) general strain theory as it applies to juvenile delinquency, a dialogic participatory research project was implemented to explore the impact over time of bereavement on the thoughts, emotions and behavior of two young women who are on probation. After a deep exploration of their grief related journeys, the participants were also invited to suggest strategies that might be supportive of other young people experiencing similar loss, and to reflect upon the outcomes of participation in this research process.

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