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ERIC Number: ED246995
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Children and Death.
Brennan, Andrew J. J.
Health professionals and educators should develop their abilities to educate about death and to comfort the bereaved. Due to lower death rates, the lack of philosophical religious views, and distorted perceptions of death contributed by television, death has become a mystery instead of a segment of the common experience. Particularly when a child dies, the death may provoke feelings of shock, guilt, and anger on the part of parents, siblings, and peers. While there is individual (and perhaps cultural) variation in acquiring insight into death, research shows that, generally, preschool children see death as a temporary situation and that children from 5 to 9 years of age may view death as a personification, such as an angel or a skeleton. Children do not consistently perceive death as inevitable, final, and universal until the age of 9 or 10. Freud and Maslow suggest that anxieties about death can be better dealt with if they are discussed. Children should be taught about death by drawing on experiences from daily life and the cycles of nature. Resource organizations and literature on dying and death are available to help health professionals, educators, and counselors learn to listen sympathetically, comfort, and educate parents and children who are dealing with death. (CB)
Publication Type: Guides - General
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A