chapter  5
The Role of the School Stan Johns
Pages 16

Today's youth face a potential multitude of critical loss situations. It can be safely assumed that by the time a student is leaving adolescence, some form of loss has affected his or her life. There are, of course, the obvious, highly visible, and sometimes newsworthy scenarios of critical loss such as the death of a parent, sibling, friend, teacher or other individual of a close relationship. However, there are also many more subtle forms of separation and loss in a young person's life that can go unnoticed and yet have a long-lasting and major psychological effect upon the individual. Perhaps the most prevalent form of subtle loss in a child's life comes in the form of disruption of the family unit though divorce. The divorce rate in United States continues to occur, on average, at about 50 percent according to 1997 final statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov). There may be other losses as well, such as family or friend relocation, death of a pet or death of a distant relative, physical or sexual abuse, change of school, or any other event that affects the attachment bond of a child.