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35 Cards in this Set

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Children and Death:
Most report their 1st experience with death as:
1. Death of a family member (grand parent, parent)
2. Death of a pet
Dickinson's Study
57% college students reported first death = family member
28% college students' first death = pet.
Anthony's Child Death Studies
12% of Moms of children 6 and under say their children were concerned about death
in reality, 45% of these children are concerned!
Impediments to Child Studies
1.) Adult Bias- we think they don't worry but they do.
2.) Difficulty with Research- we don't want to upset them
3.) Freud's Legacy- he was phobic about death and thus minimized the impact of death on kids. Decided they were incapable of mourning until reached self-concept at age 13.
4.) Children's Language isn ot sophisticated enough to express thoughts.
5.) What we as parents teach kids.- Socially accepted immortality myth (only old die, we dont die)
-idiosyncratic family myth
Cognitive Skills Required to Fully Understand Death (6)
The concepts of:
1. Time
2. Transformation of Matter (things/body changes)
3. Causality
4. Irreversibility (things can't be brought back)
5. Concrete Operations (logical thinking)
6. Universality- things happen to everyone
Conrad Lorenz
-Baby geese imprint on their mothers, follow them everywhere.
-Critical period between mother and child.
-36-72nd hour of life
Bowlby and Mahler
-vague critical period in humans.
-mom and child are very close.
-emotional responses depend on this time.
Stages of Understanding
Piaget and Elkind
Preoperational (3-5)
Concrete Operational (6-9)
Formal Operational (10-11)
-don't understand death correctly
-it is NOT seen as break with life.
-the dead person is asleep (still alive- Nagy)
-magical thinking
-confuse animate with inanimate
Concrete Operational
6-9 yrs
-death is seen as break with life
-doesn't happen to everyone
-Reversible (if you act right and pray they will come back)
Formal Operational
-Death irreversible and universal
-medical event
-adult like understanding
At what age do children give a reasonably accurate definition of death?
Anthony Study
AGE 7- 100% of kids give accurate response
AGE 6- 67% give accurate response
Grieving Process: Freud
1st to talk about death, unhelpful
-griveing/mourning are normal processes, not important.
-loss = minimalized.
Freud's 2 important contributions
1.) Depression vs. Grieving
Grieving is normal
Depression is a significant loss of self esteem
2.) Cathexis vs. Decathexis
Cathexis- investment of emotional energy. you put a lot into a person the more you invest energy into them the harder it is when they die.
Decathexis!! withdraw this energy, detach.
Pollack's Homeostatic Theory
Biological we like to keep balance
-Death of someone close causes an imbalance requires stages to regain balance.
1. Shock- psychological, days.
2. Grief- realize the reality of the death without accepting it, weeks.
3. Separation- most difficult. not physically with the person but maintain an internal dialogue with them. months/yrs.
4. Chronic State- secondary losses, ripple effect. realize you won't have mom's pie. Eventually adapt and use experience as a growth opportunity.Years.
John Bowlby Stages of Grief
1.) Numbing
2.) Yearning and Searching- psychologically go to places you've been together.
3.) Disorganization and Despair
4.) Reorganization- incorporate loss into your new life
British Psychologist
-stages are really overlapping clinical pictures.
- no schedule of grief

1.) Numbness- adaptive bc it helps us to feel less intense amounts of pain
2.) Searching and Pining- people search for the dead person psychologically. Pangs of grief.
3.) Depression- apathy, despair.
4.) Recovering- giving up the old frames of thinking- the way we thought about the world without the person.
What is Despair?
no hope for the future!
Catherine Sanders
Integrated many theories
1.) Shock
2.) Awareness of loss
3.) Conservaton and Withdrawal
4.) Decision Point- consciously decide to keep going in life or give up. big issue with elders who lose a spouse.
5.) Healing
6.) Renewal
most influential approach to mourning.
-Saw other approaches as a passive approach.
-Grief is like a physical injury/illness.
- Departure from psych. well being. (Like an injury, sometimes you recover or you don't)
-Mourning- active process of trying to return to normal functioning
What are the four tasks of mourning?
1. Accept the Reality of the Loss
2. Experience the Pain of the Loss
3. Adjust to the Environment where the Deceased is Missing
4. Withdraw Emotional energy from the dead person and reinvest it in something else
1st task of mourning
Accept the Reality of the Loss:
1. Accept Physical Reality (shock)
2. Accept meaning of the loss- takes time to sink in
3. Accept irreversibility of the loss.

Fail this task: DENIAL
2nd task of mourning
Experience the Pain of the Loss

-lonely task-need to dwell a little on the loss.
-hard bc people help you avoid it-dont want to talk about it.

Fail this task: INABILITY TO FEEL
3rd task of mourning
Adjust to Environment where the deceased is missing:

-Experience the secondary losses
-take on the roles that the person played for you

Fail this Task: WITHDRAWAL (general and social)
4th task of mourning
Withdraw emotional energy from dead person and reinvest it in something else.

Fail this task: INABILITY TO LOVE
Worden's Normal Grieving Behaviors
4 categories
Normal Behaviors
Worden: Feelings
most common= SADNESS
most important= ANGER @ ___
most universal= GUILT(form of anger at yourself)
other important feelings:
LONELINESS- closer you were the lonelier you are
1. death makes anxious about our own death.
2. can i cope? can i get through this?
Worden: Physical
Tightness in throat, chest
Lack of energy
Depersonalization (nothing is real, including myself)
Worden: Cognitions
1. disbelief (shock and numb)
2. preoccupation with dead person, obsessing, thoughts intrude on daily life
3. confusion- trouble concentrating and focusing
4. Sense of presence- dead person still around (DOVES)
- birds, butterflies, rainbow
5. Hallucinations
Worden: Normal Behaviors
1. sleep disturbance- trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, too much sleep
2. appetite disturbance
3. social withdrawal- don't want to be with others
4. dreams of dead person
5. crying
6. seaching and crying out
Harry Sullivan
-grief= valuble and protective device also obsessional device.
-Repetitively admit loss of loved one.
-This obliterates the object of the obsession
George Pollock
acute and chronic grief stages

Acute: initial shock,
grief-(realize actuality of death)
separation- (decathexis)
- difficult bc griever may "maintain the introject"

Chronic- lasting adaptation, experience secondary losses
Bluebond Langer
1. Terminal Kids as young as 3 know they are dying and that death is final and irreversible
2. Personal experience
life circumstances
self concept
all have impact on how kids integrate info about death and come to understand it.
Sood, Weller, Weller
Beareved kids aged 5-12
Likely to experience somatic symptoms
Headach and stomach aches
Silverman, Nickman and Worden
Reaction to Death of Parent
Age 6-17
74% Believed parent in Heaven
87% Believe parent watching over them
Kids need to "locate" parent