SAGE Journal Articles
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Learning Objective: 19.2 Contrast children’s, adolescents’, and adults’ understanding of death.
Abstract: By employing the phenomenographic approach, the present study explored children's cognitive understanding of and emotional responses to death and bereavement. Participants included 52 Korean, 16 Chinese, and 16 Chinese American children ages 5–6. Thematic analysis of children's drawings and open-ended interviews revealed that most children associated death with negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, and sadness. The majority of children used realistic expressions to narrate death. The core themes from their drawings included causes for death, attempts to stop the dying, and situations after death. This study contributes to the literature by targeting young children who have been relatively excluded in death studies and provides evidence in the usefulness of drawings as a developmentally appropriate data collection tool. The findings also enrich our knowledge about children's understanding of death and bereavement, rooted in the inductive analysis of empirical data with children from culturally diverse backgrounds.
Journal Article 19.2: Chen, L., Fu, F., Sha, W., & Chan, C.L.W., et al. (2017). Mothers coping with bereavement in the 2008 China earthquake: A dual process analysis. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying.
Learning Objective: 19.4 Summarize typical grief reactions to the loss of loved ones and the influence of development on bereavement.
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to explore the grief experiences of mothers after they lost their children in the 2008 China earthquake. Informed by the dual process model, this study conducted in-depth interviews to explore how six bereaved mothers coped with such grief over a 2-year period. Right after the earthquake, these mothers suffered from intensive grief. They primarily coped with loss-oriented stressors. As time passed, these mothers began to focus on restoration-oriented stressors to face changes in life. This coping trajectory was a dynamic and integral process, which bereaved mothers oscillated between loss- and restoration-oriented stressors. This study offers insight in extending the existing empirical evidence of the dual process model.