The Effects on Teenagers’ Self-Esteem After Losing Parents

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The lowered self-esteem of bereaved teenagers is linked to behavioral problems, such as withdrawal from social activities, acts of aggression or acting out, and impaired performance in school or on the job. Bereaved children also tend to suffer from increased levels of anxiety, depression and guilt. Some adolescents may become more entrenched in the family at a point in life when they need to individuate. Others may rebel or transit into an adult role that is premature and potentially overwhelming. In addition, teenagers may experience compounding losses, such as a lack of financial support, disrupted familial routines and plans for the future.

Males versus Females
The loss of a parental figure affects the self-esteem of teenage girls to a greater extent than their male counterparts, according to Timothy J. Strauman’s “Depression in Adolescent Girls: Science and Prevention.” Research indicates that female teenagers assume more emotional responsibility for intimate relationships. When facing the loss of a parent, they tend to gauge their self-worth in a negative manner. Female teenagers have also reported greater anxiety over abandonment than male teenagers.

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