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ERIC Number: ED264461
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Fatally Ill Children's Comprehension of Death.
Walco, Gary A.; And Others
Currently, professionals disagree about whether children should be informed about their illnesses and the possibility of their deaths. Some experts feel discussion of these subjects would only upset the children while others feel this knowledge is the children's right and will allay the children's anxieties. What is needed but not available is information about how age influences children's concepts of death. Subjects (N=188) came from three groups: (1) leukemic children; (2) hemophiliac children; and (3) healthy children. Children ranged in age from 3 to 14 years. Intelligence and cognitive stage were measured; children were asked four general questions about death, and ill children's understanding of illness was assessed. The results indicated that the child's sex had no effect on concepts of illness and death while chronological age proved to be a useful index to children's level of comprehension. Although cognitive stage did not provide much more insight, a degree of interrelatedness among the death attributive concepts and the development of death concepts did parallel more general cognitive development. There were no significant differences between healthy children and ill children in their ability to understand death. A strong relationship existed between children's comprehension of illness and concepts of death. The data provides information on precisely what the average child understands about death. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A