The effect of a specific approach to death education on parental attitudes toward death education for young children

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Authors
Wolfelt, Alan
Advisor
Dimick, Kenneth M.
Issue Date
1983
Keyword
Degree
Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department
Other Identifiers
Abstract

The present study sought to investigate the impact of a specific approach to death education on parental attitudes toward death education of young children. A seconf purpose was to determine if parents' self-reported level of anxiety about discussing death with their children would be affected by their participation in a specific approach to death education. And a third purpose was to determine if parents would validate the use of the educational program in which they participated as a model for other parents to learn how to better understand and be helpful to children coping with loss as a consequence of death.A total of 54 parents of children who were currently enrolled in the Rochester, Minnesota public elementary schools were randomly assigned to participate in one of three educational-discussion groups. A one-group pretest posttest design was used in the study, and the assessment instruments consisted of a Demographic Data and Attitude Questionnaire and a Parent Questionnaire Related to Children and Death.Results of the statistical investigation indicated that there was no significant difference in pre- and post group analysis regarding parents' attitudes toward death education of young children. There was a statistically significant difference (p < .01) between the pre and post comparisons on subjects' self-reported level of anxiety about discussing death with their children, and the vast majority (96.3%) agreed or strongly agreed that the educational program in which they participated could serve as a model for other parents to learn how to better understand and be helpful to children at a time of loss.On the basis of these data, conclusions were drawn and speculations were made concerning the use of the educational model in community death education programs.