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11-06-2019 | Original Paper | Uitgave 11/2019

Journal of Child and Family Studies 11/2019

Multidimensional Grief Therapy: Pilot Open Trial of a Novel Intervention for Bereaved Children and Adolescents

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 11/2019
Ryan M. Hill, Benjamin Oosterhoff, Christopher M. Layne, Evan Rooney, Stephanie Yudovich, Robert S. Pynoos, Julie B. Kaplow
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This study describes a pilot open trial of Multidimensional Grief Therapy, an assessment-driven, phasic individual therapy for bereaved youth. This study provides a preliminary outcome evaluation with respect to maladaptive grief reactions, post-traumatic stress symptoms, and depressive symptoms in bereaved youth.


The sample consisted of 65 bereaved youth (ages 6–17 years, M = 11.62, SD = 2.76; 53% female; 33.3% Hispanic, 31.8% African American/Black, 27.3% Caucasian, 6.1% mixed/biracial, 1.5% Native American). The study utilized a single-group open trial design. Youth referred to the study due to the death of a loved one completed measures of grief reactions, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and depressive symptoms. Measures were also completed following Phases I and II of the treatment.


Youth who completed Phase I (n = 42) reported significant reductions from baseline, with large to very large effect sizes (Cohen’s D range = 0.77−1.35) for all three domains of maladaptive grief, post-traumatic stress symptoms, and depressive symptoms. Youth who completed Phase II (n = 22) exhibited significant reductions from the end of Phase I, with medium to large effect sizes (range = 0.57–0.90) for two domains of maladaptive grief as well as for posttraumatic stress symptoms and depressive symptoms.


Although further evaluations using a wider array of outcomes are needed to evaluate MGT and the maintenance of treatment gains over time, the present study provides preliminary evidence supporting MGT as an individual treatment for bereaved youth experiencing maladaptive grief reactions, post-traumatic stress, and depressive symptoms.

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