Childhood traumatic grief: an exploration of the construct in children bereaved on September 11

J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2005 Jun;34(2):248-59. doi: 10.1207/s15374424jccp3402_4.


This study is an exploration of the measurement and correlates of childhood traumatic grief (CTG). Eighty-three children of uniformed service personnel who died during the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001, were assessed using measures of demographic characteristics, trauma exposure (physical proximity, emotional proximity, and secondary adversities), use of coping strategies, psychiatric symptoms (posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], general anxiety, depression), self-esteem, and traumatic grief. An exploratory factor analysis of the Extended Grief Inventory (EGI; Layne, Savjak, Saltzman, & Pynoos, 2001) indicated distinct constructs of normal versus traumatic grief. CTG factor scores were correlated with secondary adversities from the traumatic event, symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and coping responses, underscoring the theoretical and clinical utility of the content of the measure. Study limitations and future research recommendations are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aircraft
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Grief*
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • New York City
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • September 11 Terrorist Attacks / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology*