The impact of childhood grief: facts and figures.

Key Facts:

● Most educators and school professionals will encounter grief in the classroom firsthand.

● An estimated 1 in 15 children will experience the death of a parent or sibling by age 181 and a vast majority will experience some kind of close personal loss before graduating from high school.

● Grief’s impact on children can be far-reaching, with potential to lead to serious behavioral issues and poor school performance when it goes unsupported. 

● Educators and school community members – as trusted, consistent adults in students’ lives – have an important opportunity to extend support. But most are under-prepared to do so.

● A survey conducted by the New York Life Foundation in conjunction with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) revealed that only 7 percent of teachers had received training to support bereaved students, while 92 percent of educators felt that childhood grief was a serious problem deserving more attention from schools.

● In recent years, tragic school shootings across the U.S. have only created additional urgency and concern around addressing issues of grief and death at school. 

● is an industry-endorsed multimedia platform for educators and school communities developed by the Coalition to Support Grieving Students in partnership with the New York Life Foundation and the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement

By the numbers

Support is limited

The impact of parental loss

Educator support reduces the impact of grief

More infographics

● Childhood grief: A pervasive problem (PDF)

Grief in the classroom 2 (PDF)




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