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Is Death Anxiety More Prevalent in Children than in Adults - Coursework Example

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The paper “Is Death Anxiety More Prevalent in Children than in Adults?” resumes that death anxiety is present in children - just like in adults - at any age. But it manifests itself differently at each stage of the kid's development and depends on the overall level of the child’s progress.  
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Is Death Anxiety More Prevalent in Children than in Adults
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Download file to see previous pages According to Nagy (1948), the comprehension of death among children can be divided into three stages. In stage 1, children aged three to five see death as a faded continuation of life. They view dead people, or animated objects such as pets, as asleep and who might not wake up for a while. In stage 2, children aged five to nine see death as final. The dead stay dead, but often they picture the dead person as taking in another form as a ghost or skeleton or live in a coffin or in another world. However, they also believe that death happens to the sick or the aged and that there is a possibility of escaping death if one follows a healthy lifestyle or is fortunate to have a long life. At the third and final stage among children aged nine and thereafter, children have a more mature take of death and view it as inevitable, universal, and personal, and that all living things die, whether a mouse, an elephant, a parent or a stranger, and no matter how good or how clever people are, they still die. It is with this concept of the finality of death that people become anxious.
Sigmund Freud coined the term “thanatophobia”, meaning the fear of death or death anxiety. He postulated that people express their fear of dying, not because of death itself, but because of an unresolved childhood issue that they cannot bring to acknowledge and discuss openly. According to Freud, nobody has experienced death, what it is to die, and in the unconscious mind, everyone is convinced of their own immortality. Becker (1973) in his book, The Denial of Death, viewed death anxiety as a feeling that is so intense that it generates what people fear or what their phobias are in everyday life. For example, being in an enclosed space or high up in a building are fears whose connections with death anxiety are easy to trace. However, for most people, anxiety towards death is kept to a minimum by denying death. This is also where society plays its role by creating beliefs and practices that can subdue the fear of death. Funeral homes with their flowers and homilies; the medical system with its evasions; and religions reiterating the concepts of the afterlife are among the more obvious societal elements that help individuals to maintain the fiction that there is nothing to fear.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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