Calculating the incidence rate of sibling bereavement among children and adolescents across the United States: A proposed method

Death Stud. 2020;44(5):303-311. doi: 10.1080/07481187.2018.1541946. Epub 2018 Dec 4.


This study proposes a method for calculating the annual incidence rate of sibling bereavement among US youth using national epidemiological data. The proposed model combines data on family household size with national death statistics to calculate the number of siblings affected by the death of a child annually. From 2012 to 2015, an average of 61,389 children per year experienced the death of a sibling, resulting in an estimate of 0.0832% of children bereaved by the death of a sibling annually. Data indicate a need for greater awareness and dialog concerning the frequency with which children experience the death of a sibling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bereavement*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Sibling Relations*
  • United States / epidemiology