Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies


Wendy Allen, PhD, LPC, BC-DMT


Black American youth are exposed to more death related circumstances than their peers yet are severely underrepresented in literature focused on the broader scope of children’s bereavement. More research and analysis are required to develop and implement culturally relevant interventions as they embark on their grief journey. Dance/movement therapy has the capacity for providing support that is culturally specific and able to meet the developmental levels of children, yet its grief focus work is limited. This literature review aims to bridge the gap between Black grief and dance/movement therapy as a culturally informed practice. An analysis of various forms of grief, including disenfranchised and suffocated grief, alongside an understanding of grief considerations in children, lay the foundation for a better understanding of grief work. Attention to the nuances of Black bereavement practices and dance/movement therapy brought forth various approaches which could be useful in supporting this population. This review highlights the lack of specific and empirical research focused on both grieving Black youth and DMT in grief settings. Further explorations of factors connected to the bigger picture of Black grief and DMT implementation are considered for future research.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License




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