1887

n Health SA Gesondheid - The development in the understanding of the concept of death among black South African learners from the Eastern Cape, South Africa : research

Volume 9, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1025-9848
USD

 

Abstract

Thirty-one learners aged 6-16 were selected using purposive sampling, with the aim of investigating their understanding of death. Data were collected using drawings and semi-structured tape-recorded interviews from a modified version of the Smilansky Death Questionnaire. Drawings were analysed following Marton's phenomenographic method. Interview transcripts were analysed using pattern coding. Specific responses regarding the components of death were analysed using Smilansky's scoring method. Nine descriptive categories were gathered from the drawings: personification, colours, physical features, gender, age, method of death, position of the dead, funeralisation, life symbols. Drawings reflected more similarities than differences between age groups. The 6-8 year-olds had a better understanding of human death than of animal death, whereas the older groups were more advanced in conceptualising animal death. This finding demonstrates the influence of cultural practices. The conceptualisation of old age developed before the other components of death, followed by inevitability, irreversibility, finality, and causality respectively. Gender differences were noted in the explanations of causes of death. Conclusions demonstrate that the understanding of death is affected by age, cognition, and familial and cultural factors depending on the context within which such development takes place. Future research should consider context when examining children's conceptions of death.

Een-en-dertig leerders tussen 6 en 16 jaar is geselekteer met die doel om hulle begrip van dood te ondersoek. Data is ingesamel deur tekeninge en semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude gebaseer op 'n aangepaste weergawe van die Smilansky Doodsvraelys. Tekeninge is ontleed volgens Marton se fenomenografiese metode. Data vanuit die onderhoude is ontleed deur gebruik te maak van patroonkodering en spesifieke response in verband met die komponente van dood is ontleed volgens Smilansky se metode. Nege beskrywende kategorieë in verband met die konsep van dood is ingesamel vanaf die tekeninge: personifikasie, kleure, fisiese eienskappe, geslag, ouderdom, sterfmetode, doodsposisie, begrafniskenmerke en lewensimbole. Die tekeninge het meer ooreenkomste as verskille tussen die ouderdomsgroepe getoon. Die ses-tot-agtjariges het 'n beter begrip van menslike dood as van dierlike dood getoon. Die ouer groepe het egter beter gevaar ten opsigte van die konseptualisering van dierlike dood. Hierdie bevinding illustreer die invloed van kulturele praktyke. Die konseptualisasie van bejaardheid ontwikkel voor die ander komponente van dood gevolg deur onvermydelikheid, onomkeerbaarheid, finaliteit en oorsaaklikheid onderskeidelik. Geslagsverskille is geïdentifiseer in die verklarings van die oorsake van dood. Die bevindinge toon dat die begrip van dood beïnvloed word deur ouderdom, kognisie en ander gesins- en kulturele faktore afhangend van die konteks waarbinne hierdie ontwikkeling geskied. Toekomstige navorsing behoort die konteks in ag te neem wanneer kinders se idees oor dood ondersoek word.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/health/9/4/EJC35317
2004-12-01
2016-12-09

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error