Thirty-six children between the ages of 2 and 17 bereaved by the suicide of a parent were followed up after 5 to 7 years. The children's home life before bereavement had been abnormal because of mental illness, and family disruption and pre-suicide stresses were significantly related to present functioning. An incidence of psychological morbidity greater than that of a comparison group was observed. Some children appear to cope with the experience of parental suicide without serious consequences; for a few there was relief from an insupportable situation.
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