Parent education : discussing death with young children

This study investigated the need for parent education in the area of discussing death with young children, the problems and concerns of selected parents in this area, and the effects of a short-term parent education program on these parental concerns. Responses to a questionnaire used in Phase One of the study by 58% of the respondents, indicated a need for parent education on the subject of discussing death with young children. Problems regarding parental awareness of the child's psychological needs, the degree of communication between parent and child, and the prevalent use of euphemisms in discussing death evolved from the responses to the questionnaire. Phase Two consisted of a series of five parent education sessions focused on the issues identified by the questionnaire in Phase One. The questionnaire was readministered as a posttest, and an analysis of the results of a pretest-posttest comparison showed statistically significant positive change in the participants' willingness and ability to discuss death with their young children.