A visual narrative analysis of children’s baby loss remembrance drawings

Erin K. Willer, Veronica A. Droser, Kate Drazner Hoyt, Jeni Hunniecutt, Emily Krebs, Jessica A. Johnson, Nivea Castaneda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children experiencing the death of baby brother or sister have reported individual, familial, and communicative challenges. Siblings also have indicated that the loss of a baby in their family enriched their lives despite their pain. The present study extends this work by focusing not only on siblings but also other children enmeshed in the family system. Additionally, we heed the call for the use of arts-based methods in family communication by performing a visual narrative analysis of children’s baby loss remembrance drawings. This analysis of 131 drawings completed by children ages zero to 18 yielded three main themes, including narration of identity, narration of life and death, and narration of growing sense-making. Two continua capture these themes, including the subject of narrativization and the mode of narrativization. In presenting these findings, we provide a unique (means of) understanding children’s experience of baby loss in the family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-169
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Family Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication


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