ERIC Number: ED222282
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Children's Concepts of Death: A Cognitive Training Study.
Walco, Gary A.
A cognitive training strategy was employed to investigate the nature of development in children's concepts of death. Subjects ranging in age from 3 to 11 years and attending Jewish-affiliated preschools participated in the study. Measures of verbal concept formation, abstract reasoning, general intelligence, and ability to conserve were administered to assess subjects' general level of cognitive functioning. As a pretest, children's responses to questions about death were elicited and their understanding of concepts of life was assessed. Subjects were then divided into experimental and "placebo" groups. Experimental groups were read a story and then were engaged in discussions about issues related to death. Taken from popular children's books, these stories were redesigned to induce conflict between preoperational and concrete operational views of death. The last story included more abstract notions, thus potentially promoting formal operational thought. The control group was involved in the same procedures as the experimental group, but in the control condition discussion themes did not focus on death. Within a week following the completion of interventions, all subjects were posttested, using pretest questions and the Concept of Life scale. A similar posttest was administered to all available subjects 25 to 30 weeks later. Results are discussed. (RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (90th, Washington, DC, August 23-27, 1982).