Mortality, Burial, and Parental Attitudes
6 Modern Times: The Psychology of Grief
The Psychology of Grief
At present, on the internet one can find instructions on how to do anything, from making a bomb to baking a chocolate soufflé, from how to potty train your child to how to mourn your child. Wikihow.com, for example, has a twenty-five step process on how to “Survive the Death of your Child (with Pictures)”. While there are more authoritative sources that a parent might consult, the ease with which we can find such information is indicative of the lack of stigma in grieving openly. Further, with the popularity of psychoanalysis and psychiatry also comes the formalization of the grieving process. This chapter revisits childhood mortality, with a focus on the modern developed world, and with a discussion of child death within the context of major world events: the Nazi Holocaust, school shootings, and war.
About 55,000 children die in the U.S. each year. According to the CDC’s 2010 data set (the most recent data available), of the ten leading causes of death and injury, infants under the age of one die of congenital anomalies, pre-term birth, SIDS and injury, while the leading cause of death for children and adolescents ages one to eighteen is unintentional injury. Homicide and injury are among the top five causes for children ages one to eighteen. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for children and young adults ages ten to twenty-four. Other causes of...
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