Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Social Work

Degree Name


First Advisor

Professor Hattie Mitchell


This exploratory study examined the relationship between support systems and depressive symptoms in grieving children. The siblings completed the twelve item Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and the eighteen item Depression Self-Rating Scale.

The nonprobability sample was one of convenience. The sample consisted of a total of 16 male and female siblings between the ages of nine and eighteen years. The responses were cross tabulated using Chi Square and Gamma Tests. The Chi Square and Gamma Tests confirmed a significant correlation of .05 across three identified sources of support: family, peer, and significant other. The responses demonstrated low symptoms of depression. The results from the study rejected the null hypothesis that there will be no statistically significant relationship between support systems and depression in grieving children.

In this study, no attempt is made to generalize these specific findings. Rather, results are interpreted, in the light of findings in the recent literature, to underscore the need for better designed research and to alert professionals of the danger of imposing dysfunctional views upon this population.

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