When a Child Dies: A Critical Analysis of Grief-Related Controversies in DSM-5

Kara Thieleman, Joanne Cacciatore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Scopus citations


    The upcoming fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has incited vociferous debate among academics, clinicians, and the general public. Two contested changes are eliminating the bereavement exclusion from the major depressive disorder diagnosis and creating a new category for intense and prolonged grief called persistent complex bereavement-related disorder. This article critically analyzes research and debate regarding these two changes and considers the likely implications for bereaved parents and other traumatically bereaved groups, who may be especially vulnerable to consequences of the two proposed changes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)114-122
    Number of pages9
    JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


    • DSM-5
    • bereaved parents
    • bereavement exclusion
    • major depressive disorder
    • persistent complex bereaved-related disorder

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Psychology(all)


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