ERIC Number: ED342573
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar-17
Communicating about Loss and Mourning: Death Education for Persons with Mental Retardation.
Yanok, James; Beifus, Joan Addis
This paper describes a death education curriculum designed for and field-tested on verbally expressive adults with mental retardation. The Communicating About Loss and Mourning (CALM) curriculum was presented to an experimental group in 8 sessions each lasting 50 minutes. Lectures and group discussions were used to convey information about death and the aging process. The experimental group consisted of 25 randomly selected participants from clients enrolled in a sheltered workshop program. The mean chronological age and intelligence quotients were 35.1 and 49.3, respectively. The control group also consisted of 25 randomly selected participants from clients enrolled in the same sheltered workshop program. The mean chronological age and intelligence quotients were comparable to the experimental group. The control subjects were never introduced to the CALM curriculum nor had they received any prior instruction in death education or grief counseling. Members of both groups were administered an 8-question oral exam. Results indicated that the experimental group's performance was superior and the total percentage of correct exam responses by experimental subjects was statistically greater than that of the control group. This study reveals that adults with mental retardation have a need and can benefit from death education and grief counseling. Recommendations are included for the development and implementation of an appropriate death education program for mentally retarded adults. The 8-question examination is included. (LP)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Reaching Our Potential: Rural Education in the 90's. Conference Proceedings, Rural Education Symposium (Nashville, TN, March 17-20, 1991); see RC 018 473.