The Dual Process Model (Margaret Stroebe and Henk Schut 1999)

Behaviour following a death can be affected by both loss-orientated thoughts and restoration-orientated thoughts. Coping with a bereavement usually involves switching between each of these mind-sets.

  • Children and young people naturally ‘jump’ between loss-orientated behaviour (such as being tearful and wanting to talk about the person who died) and restoration-orientated behaviour (such as spending time with their friends).
  • They can shift from one to the other very quickly and frequently throughout a day. This concept of ‘puddle-jumping’ in and out of grief is encapsulated in the Dual Process model.
  • A common misconception is that a bereaved pupil acting normally in the playground is “unaffected by their grief” or has “got over a death”, which is simply not the case.