Qualitative age-related differences in the meaning of the word "death" to children

Claes-Göran Wenestam

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelPeer review

15 Citeringar (Scopus)


In an attempt to expand our knowledge of what death means to children, 112 children, ranging in age from 4 to 18 years, drew a picture of what the word “death” means to them and attached a comment to explain their drawing. Three themes were evident in the drawings, resulting in these categories: (a) violence or aggression, (b) religious and cultural symbols, and (c) the experience of dying. The themes were significantly related to age, with the drawings of the youngest children more likely to portray violence and the drawings of the oldest children more likely to portray themes of the experience of dying. This relationship to age may be due to age-specific sociocultural contexts that provide children at each age with a certain type of information about death and dying. Several children described the dying process with images similar to those used by people who describe a “near death” experience. These descriptions seem to reflect universal, archetypical ideas about the experience of dying.

Sidor (från-till)333-347
Antal sidor14
TidskriftDeath Studies
StatusPublicerad - 1984
Externt publiceradJa

Nationell ämneskategori

  • Psykologi (501)
  • Samhällsvetenskap (5)


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