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The purpose of this study was to test whether the developmental acquisition of a mature concept of death, that is, understanding death as a biological event, affects young children's fear of death. Ninety children between the ages of 4 and 8 participated in an interview study in which their understanding of death and their fear of death were both assessed. Levels of general anxiety were also measured via parent report. A regression analysis indicated that more mature death understanding was associated with lower levels of death fear, when age and general anxiety were controlled. These data provide some empirical support for the widely held belief that discussing death and dying in biological terms is the best way to alleviate fear of death in young children. Copyright
From its inception in the mid-twentieth century, the field of death studies has been challenged by the popular idea that both death and grief have become a new problem in the human experience. Yet, it was only in the seventies that the immediate knowledge about the past among sociologists and psychologists, who were denouncing the loss of mourning rituals, was proved right by historical evidence. With his social history of death, published in 1974 and 1981 under the titles Western Attitudes towards Death and The Hour of Our Death, the French historian Philippe Ariès (1914-1984) supported the pessimistic belief among journalists, intellectuals, and scholars alike, that something profound had been lost. In his historical accounts covering the last 1,500 years, death indeed ended up being ‘invisible’ and ‘wild’, in contrast to its earlie...
Revised January 2012. Revised March 2013. Please look for up-to-date information in the OSU Extension Catalog: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog
Poster by the Freedom Front, calling for votes and promoting the death penalty.
Poster by the Freedom Front, calling for votes and promoting the death penalty.
3rd ed Previous ed. published as: Sudden death in infancy, childhood, and adolescence. 2004.
Revised December 2009. Revised January 2012. Please look for up-to-date information in the OSU Extension Catalog: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog
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