Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing


The purpose of this investigation was to determine if death education has an impact on children's understanding of death. This study was a non-randomized trial of a single educational session on death concepts of 38 second grade children (mean age 7.78 years). The Smilansky Death Concept Questionnaire, a validated and published interviewing tool, was administered pre and post intervention to all study subjects to evaluate their understanding of death. This intervention was a story on death and a peer group discussion.

Post-test scores were significantly higher than pretest scores for human death concept, and animal death concept, as well as on the total death concept. There were no significant relationships between demographic variables and the Smilansky Death Concept scores. It is recommended that elementary schools consider incorporating a death education program into their current curriculum.


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