ERIC Number: ED391597
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
Fear of Parental Death: Impact on Young Children.
Crase, Darrell; Crase, Dixie R.
For adults, fear of death is universal, but young children are exposed to realities of death only infrequently and are often shielded from it by parents. Because parents realize the extent of a child's fear of losing a parent, parents sometimes take precautionary steps, such as avoiding both parents' travelling on the same airplane or designating someone to care for a surviving child. For young children, the greatest source of stress is loss of a parent. Short-term effects of parental death vary, and are readily observed and appropriately addressed. Long-term effects are complex and difficult to ascertain. Some researchers believe loss of a parent should be regarded as a potential developmental problem, but research is contradictory and inconclusive. In general, children who are surrounded by alternative sources of emotional support and understanding tend to adjust well. However, some situations, when interacting with other variables, may exacerbate the grieving process. Finally, children can be taught in a developmentally appropriate way about death and learn that fears about parental loss are normal. (Contains 16 references.) (TM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A