Date of Award

Fall 2007

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

J Elizabeth Falvey


Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) claims 5,000 to 7,000 infant lives each year. The deaths undoubtedly cause a sense of guilt, depression and hopelessness among survivors; specifically the parents. Many people supporting SIDS parents tend to feel uncomfortable around them and thus avoid the grieving family altogether. Many SIDS parents state that while their friends and family are trying to be helpful and supportive, many of their attempts actually are hurtful. A psychoeducational group was developed for the social supporters of SIDS parents, allowing its members to become better equipped to help support the grieving parents and to give them the opportunity to understand some of their own feelings about death. The model was derived from various literature and research focusing not only on death and bereavement, but on various types of psychoeducational groups as well. This model serves as a stepping stone to lead social supporters, specifically those who are supporting a SIDS family, to effectively be aware of SIDS and their own influence on the parents.