ASU professor discusses research on parental bereavement
Joanne Cacciatore, an assistant professor of social work with ASU's College of Public Programs, is a leading voice in efforts to extend Family Medical Leave Act benefits to grieving parents. Photo by: Daniel Friedman, raisingarizonakids.com
In an article published Feb. 3 in suburban Chicago’s Daily Herald, writer Marie Wilson reports on proposed legislation introduced in the U.S. House and Senate earlier this month to amend the Family Medical Leave Act so that the death of a child would qualify workers for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.
In the article, Joanne Cacciatore, an assistant professor of social work with ASU’s College of Public Programs, commented on her research regarding child death in families and the benefits of the proposed Parental Bereavement Act.
A leading voice in efforts to extend Family Medical Leave Act benefits to grieving parents, Cacciatore explained that those who have experienced this profound loss need time to begin adjusting before returning to work.
“Everything shifts for people when a child in the family dies. It really can be utter chaos,” Cacciatore said. “To expect people to return to work and function after such a traumatic experience, is a pretty big stretch.”
To read the full article, click here.
Cacciatore also was interviewed by journalist Barbara Bradley Hagerty for National Public Radio, Jan. 16, in a story titled “After Tragedy, Nonbelievers Find Other Ways to Cope.”
Following the death of her baby in 1994, Cacciatore founded the MISS Foundation to provide support to families after the loss of a child.
In the article, Cacciatore explained that through her work with the MISS Foundation she has observed that people with some type of spiritual base don't necessarily cope more easily with the loss, but "they tend to take comfort or solace by the fact that they'll be reunited with their child at some point," she said.
Cacciatore said she's seen nonbelievers embrace spirituality, and religious people wash their hands of God, in the aftermath of tragedy. But most often, she says, tragedy shakes your faith but doesn't destroy it.
"What we find in the research — my own research and in other studies — is that their faith is generally challenged in some way," she says. "And yet, they tend to come back full circle to a place of spiritual belief or faith."
To read the article and listen to the full segment, click here
National Public Radio