Emotional Sequelae of Parents and Sibs Following the Drowning or Near-Drowning of a Child

Nixon, James W. and Pearn, John H. (1977) Emotional Sequelae of Parents and Sibs Following the Drowning or Near-Drowning of a Child. Australian And New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 11 4: 265-268. doi:10.3109/00048677709159576

Author Nixon, James W.
Pearn, John H.
Title Emotional Sequelae of Parents and Sibs Following the Drowning or Near-Drowning of a Child
Journal name Australian And New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-8674
Publication date 1977-12
Year available 1977
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3109/00048677709159576
Volume 11
Issue 4
Start page 265
End page 268
Total pages 4
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publisher Informa Healthcare
Language eng
Subject 1701 Psychology
Formatted abstract
This study reports the findings from an investigation to evaluate the intra-family dynamics that occurred with 111 cases of childhood drowning and near-drowning in the City of Brisbane in 1971-1975. Personal interviews were obtained with 77 of the families.

24 per cent of parent-dyads separated following the drowning of their child, whereas none of the 54 families of surviving children separated. Accident generated stresses within the studied families tended to persist for years after the incident. Parents volunteered the information that they drank more, experienced sleep disorders and nightmares, and reported significant anxiety states. 19 per cent of parents of drowned children received specialist psychiatric treatment following the drowning. Two cases of surviving children received specialist psychiatric therapy (these were both parents who had inflicted non-accidental injury on their child, and had attempted to drown their child in the bath).

In one sense, a child's death is more honourable from society's point of view if the child dies from a chronic medical illness such as leukaemia. In the case of a child's death in the family bath tub or the backyard swimming pool, the extra society sanctions of culpability and accusation further intensified the likelihood of the normal grief process being transformed into a pathological variant.
Keyword Emotional sequelae
Parents and Siblings
Drowning - Child
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 37 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 03 Sep 2010, 10:51:41 EST by Mr Lawson Peters on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service