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Sklarew, B. Krupnick, J. Ward-Wimmer, D. Napoli, C. (2002). The School-Based Mourning Project: A Preventive Intervention in the Cycle of Inner-City Violence. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 4(3):317-330.

(2002). Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 4(3):317-330

The School-Based Mourning Project: A Preventive Intervention in the Cycle of Inner-City Violence

Bruce Sklarew, M.D. , Janice Krupnick , Dottie Ward-Wimmer and Carol Napoli

This paper describes the origin, facilitation, and effectiveness of an innovative model of early secondary prevention designed to help high-risk, inner-city, elementary school children deal with multiple losses and trauma. Grieving is especially difficult for inner-city children who live in a chaotic environment of poverty and are often traumatized by witnessing and enduring violence. These emotionally vulnerable and often developmentally impaired children are unable to deal with the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, the pain of grief, violent fantasies, and guilt. The result can be an underlying depression that children and adolescents try to avoid through aggressive acting out or self-destructive behavior. An innovative school-based model promotes mourning work. Clinical pre- and posttesting indicate the effectiveness of the intervention. Various extensions of the project are described.

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