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When Time Doesn’t Heal: Childhood Traumatic Grief among orphans in rural Zambia. Lisa F Langhaug, PhD Adrian Gschwend, Katharin Wespi, Pia Amman. International AIDS Conference, Washington DC, July 2012. introduction.

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when time doesn t heal childhood traumatic grief among orphans in rural zambia

When Time Doesn’t Heal: Childhood Traumatic Grief among orphans in rural Zambia

Lisa F Langhaug, PhD

Adrian Gschwend, Katharin Wespi, Pia Amman

International AIDS Conference, Washington DC, July 2012

introduction
introduction
  • Across sub-Saharan Africa, the HIV epidemic has orphaned more than 15 million children
  • Children’s experience of their loss remains

understudied in sub-Saharan Africa

    • This is particularly true of childhood traumatic grief which has been shown to be psychologically & medically debilitating.
  • Childhood traumatic grief was measured in a longitudinal study of orphans and vulnerable children in rural Zambia
methods
Methods

Trained gender-matched interviewer-administered paper questionnaires

722 respondents completed R5 (12-20 yrs)

376 were orphans (46% female, 44.1% orphaned by AIDS)

346 had lost parent(s) 1 or more years before

310 completed all questions in this analysis

measures analysis
Measures & analysis

Childhood Traumatic Grief

  • Based on Expanded Grief Inventory (Layne, 2001)
  • Asked to report on feelings surrounding parental loss in the past 4 weeks
    • Likert scale: Never (0), Rarely (1), Sometimes (2), Often (3), and Always (4)
  • Grief was classified as traumatic if respondent had a mean score of 2.

Other scales focused on

  • Caregiver attachment, Household distribution of effects, daily stress, peer victimization, and Child Depression Inventory
  • Factors surrounding parental death

All scales were translated and culturally adapted

Multiple hierarchical regression was used to examine predictors of Childhood Traumatic Grief

results
results
  • Most children had lost their parents some time ago
    • Mean number of years since their loss was 7.6 years (SD=4.1 years)
  • One-third (30.2%) of orphans showed levels of childhood traumatic grief
    • Double orphans reported significantly higher levels of grief than single orphans (r=0.12)
    • CTG is associated with child depression, suicidal thoughts,& somatic complaints
predictors of childhood traumatic grief
Predictors of childhood traumatic grief

22% of grief is explained by these variables

conclusion
conclusion
  • High levels of enduring grief in children that have lost their parents which leads to debilitating effects.
  • Critical role for community-based initiatives that reach the household to play in alleviating this grief
    • Household mobility after a parent’s death
    • Within household discrimination
    • Daily stressors
    • Victimization and bullying
thank you

Acknowledgements

  • Swiss Academy for development
    • Adrian Gschwend, Katharin Wespi, Pia Ammann
  • Childfund-zambia
    • David Mwyia
  • REPSSI
    • Kelvin Ngoma, Sebastian Chikuta,
Thank You