Art Therapy for Children's Grief Research Paper by ABCs

Art Therapy for Children's Grief
An exploration of the effectiveness of art therapy with children experiencing grief.
# 113086 | 2,580 words | 6 sources | APA | 2009 | US
Published on Mar 17, 2009 in Psychology (Child and Adolescent) , Psychology (Therapies) , Art (General)

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The paper explains the range of children's grief reactions and shows how the understanding of death varies on the age and stage of the child's development. The paper conducts a literature review and finds that art therapy is a very effective method for assisting grieving children to express their emotions on the loss of a loved one. The paper shows how art therapy exposes the erroneous beliefs, misconceptions and self-guilt that children often harbor for many years.

Literature Review

From the Paper:

"Children's understanding of death may be varied depending on the age and stage of the child's development in that young children "fall into Piaget's preoperational stage" which is a time when children "begin to represent their world with words, images, drawing and imaginative play activities." (Malchiodi, 2003) During this stage of development, because children this age are egocentric, the child may believe that they somehow caused the death of the individual. Furthermore, magical thinking that occurs at this age may cause the child to believe that the individual might be brought back somehow as they do not realize that death is irreversible. Children in the age range from seven to eleven years of age "...fall into Piaget's stage of concrete operations" which is a stage characterized by "reduced egocentricity and an improved capacity for reasoning." (Malchiodi, 2003)"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Art Therapy (2008) National Standard - The Authority on Integrated Medicine. Online available at:
  • Malachiodi, Cathy A. (2003) Using Creative Activities as Intervention for Grieving Children. Trauma and Loss: Research and Interventions Vol. 3 No. 1 2003. The National Institute of Trauma and Loss in Children. Online available at:
  • Fiorini, Jody J. and Mullen, Jodi A. (2007) Understanding Grief and Loss in Children - Article Seven.
  • Nabors, Laura, et al (2004) A Pilot Study of the Impact of a Grief Camp for Children. Cambridge Journals Palliative and Support Care 2004 Vol. 2 19 Jul 2005. Online available at:;jsessionid=8DE0B69D35D46519FE4401EA5F569E1C.tomcat1?fromPage=online&aid=315560
  • Busch, Teri; and Kimble, Cathy S. (2001) Grieving Children: Are We Meeting the Challenge? Pediatric Nursing July 2001. Online available at:;col1

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Art Therapy for Children's Grief (2009, March 17) Retrieved March 23, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Art Therapy for Children's Grief" 17 March 2009. Web. 23 March. 2023. <>