Spuij, M., Prinzie, P., Zijderlaan, J., Stikkelbroek, S., Dillen, L., De Roos, C., & Boelen, P. A. (in press). Psychometric Properties of the Dutch Inventories of Prolonged Grief for Children and Adolescents (IPG-C and IPG-A). Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy.
A significant minority of bereaved adults develops Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD), a syndrome encompassing debilitating symptoms of grief distinct from depression and anxiety. Few studies have examined the phenomenology and correlates of PGD among children and adolescents. In part, this is due to the lack of a psychometrically sound questionnaire to assess PGD symptoms in these groups. Based on an adult-measure of PGD, we developed two questionnaires of PGD symptoms for children and adolescents respectively, named the Inventory of Prolonged Grief for Children (IPG-C) and Inventory of Prolonged Grief for Adolescents (IPG-A). Psychometric properties of these measures were examined in three samples, including mostly parentally bereaved children (8-12 years, total sample N = 169) and adolescents (13-18 years, total sample N = 153). First, findings showed that items of the IPG-C and IPG-A represented one underlying dimension. Second, the internal consistency and temporal stability of both questionnaires were adequate. Third, findings supported the concurrent validity (e.g., significant correlations with measures of depression and posttraumatic stress-disorder [PTSD]), convergent and divergent validity (stronger correlations with similar questionnaires of "traumatic grief" than with two dissimilar questionnaires of "ongoing presence" and "positive memories"), and incremental validity (significant correlations with an index of functional impairment, even when controlling for concomitant depression and PTSD) of the IPG-C and IPG-A. This report provides further evidence of the clinical significance of PGD symptoms among children and adolescents and promising psychometric properties of questionnaires that can be used to assess these symptoms.