Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Children -- Counseling of; Grief in children;


One of the latest controversies in American society is whether we have desensitized our children to the tragedy of death by our everyday display of death on the news and in other media. Some believe that television violence is so routine that it barely makes an impact on children and may also make them less sensitive to the suffering of others (Jenish, 1992; Leo, 1992). Researchers on the experience of death in American culture may differ with this opinion. Perhaps Americans are 1 not desensitized to death, but we are possibly in denial that death is a universal experience that affects us all. Death is one thing humans are powerless to control; thus, most people who feel this lack of control would rather deny the power of death than face its reality (Smilansky, 1987). Rather than trying to discuss this uncomfortable subject with children, adults often ignore the fact that children are aware of death, which leaves children trying to cope alone (Bertoia & Allan, 1988). Unfortunately, denial is not a realistic way to approach the topic of death even with early elementary-school children. One out of seven children will lose a parent to death before the age of ten (Lord, 1990). If the death of a parent does not occur, it is still important for children to understand death and how to cope with the death of relatives, neighbors, and pets that may occur.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Educational Administration and Counseling

First Advisor

Terry Kottman


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this graduate research paper and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with the URL.

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (24 leaves)



File Format


Included in

Education Commons