A significant number of children have a parent die before they reach adulthood. Parental death is a major stressor experienced by 3.5 percent of children before the age of eighteen.
Parentally bereaved children are at increased risk for poor mental health outcomes during childhood and adolescence. Researchers found that 21 percent of parentally-bereaved children met criteria for a diagnosis of a mental illness two years after a parent dies, compared with only three percent of children who did not have a parent die.
— Dr. Patricia Turner, Registered Psychologist, Calgary, Alberta