ERIC Number: EJ941890
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
The Development of Afterlife Beliefs in Religiously and Secularly Schooled Children
Bering, Jesse M.; Blasi, Carlos Hernandez; Bjorklund, David F.
British Journal of Developmental Psychology, v23 n4 p587-607 Nov 2005
Children aged from 4;10 to 12;9 attending either a Catholic school or a public, secular school in an eastern Spanish city observed a puppet show in which a mouse was eaten by an alligator. Children were then asked questions about the dead mouse's biological and psychological functioning. The pattern of results generally replicated that obtained earlier in an American sample, with older children being more apt to state that functions cease after death than younger children (11- to 12-year-olds greater than 8- to 9-year-olds greater than 5- to 6-year-olds), and all children being more likely to attribute epistemic, desire, and emotion states to the dead mouse than biological, psychobiological, and perceptual states. Although children attending Catholic school were generally more likely to state that functions continue after death than children attending secular school, the pattern of change with regard to question type did not differ between the Catholic and secular groups. The results were interpreted as reflecting the combined roles of religious instruction/exposure and universal ontogeny of cognitive abilities on the development of children's afterlife beliefs.
Descriptors: Catholic Schools, Puppetry, Catholics, Cognitive Ability, Beliefs, Religious Factors, Public Schools, Epistemology, Children, Foreign Countries, Death, Role, Age Differences, Animals, Cognitive Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain