Effects of Death on the Development of Children Paper Example

Paper Type:  Research proposal
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  992 Words
Date:  2022-06-19


The paper will focus on the effects of death on the development of children. The death of a parent ends the child's relationship with someone of core emotional importance. I chose this topic because I have a daughter who is seven years old. Three years ago we traveled back home to Iran, and unfortunately, my uncle passed away. My daughter did not attend the funeral, but she witnessed everybody crying and very sad about the death. It has been three years later since I lost my uncle, but my daughter still remembers the incident, and she is afraid to lose us both. My daughter's concern made me realize that the death of my uncle has been affecting her well-being for three years now.

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The topic of the effects of death on family members and its impact on children is of vital importance. Evidence from various studies, which will be discussed in the later sections of this paper has indicated that the death of a family member affects children's behavior, academic performance, and their quality of life. Family members are also prone to the impacts of death, and it worsens the economic status of the family, creates pressure to assume the responsibilities of the dead parent, and isolates the child from friends. The topic is relevant to childcare and early childhood educators (ECEs) since they spend most of the time with children at school. The effects of death can prompt the ECEs to develop new strategies to handle children suffering from the impact of the loss of a family member, include family members facing this barrier to help the child recover from the effects of the ordeal, and create new methods to improve the quality of life of the child.

Research on the Topic

Cas, Frankenberg, Suriashtini, and Thomas (2014) have identified that parental absence due to death is accompanied by poor psychosocial well-being, changes in particular behavior, and a drop in school performance. Data from a British cohort study indicated that parental absence due to death when a child was eleven to fifteen years resulted in reduced educational attainment for both males and females. Additionally, data from the Norwegian registry illustrated that paternal death lowered the rates of transition from lower to upper secondary school (Cas et al., 2014).

Equally important, Ellis, Dowrick, and Lloyd-Williams (2013) fund that five percent of children in the UK are bereaved before they reach the age of sixteen. Childhood bereavement has been associated with adverse outcomes such as increased likelihood of substance abuse, higher risk of criminal behavior, lower employment rates, and increased vulnerability to depression. Ellis et al. (2013) researched to understand the individual experiences of children who were bereaved before attaining eighteen. The study found that death disrupted their continuity with life and children suffered from depression due to the lack of proper communication by the family members regarding the ordeal. The authors proposed that bereaved children should participate in social network and affiliations such as schools, religious organizations, and networks created by friends or neighbors to mitigate depression and the consequences of the loss from taking a toll on their lives.

Walsh and McGoldrick (2013) found that children could only survive the effects of death on a family member if the surviving parent and the extended family display strength and the motivation to continue their lives and conduct their responsibilities appropriately. The authors identified that children distract or cover their grief to comfort the bereaved parent; such actions affect the development of the children. Hence, the authors proposed that instead of isolating the children and impede their grief; it is advisable to include them in shared mourning rites. Furthermore, the surviving parent or the guardians should keep an open communication that will facilitate their understanding as they mature. The family should also buffer short-term disruptions for children such as reconfiguring the home situation, providing daily structure, warm nurturance, continuity in school, and other involvements that will be beneficial to the child.

Application to ECE

Early childhood educators can play a critical role towards helping bereaved children to recover from their situation, improve their quality of life, and accept to continue with life. ECEs spend a lot of time with children, and it is essential for the professionals to develop strategies that will include families undergoing this barrier. One of the plans that ECE can use to incorporate families facing this barrier is to create an orientation program where parents will be taught about behavior management. The ECE will manage the training by utilizing the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which focuses on observing the relationship of behavior to the environment and strategies to maintain the behavior. The ECE will teach parents the relevance of including their children in their mourning rites to normalize the incident to avoid further consequences. A second strategy that ECE can utilize is the creation of social networks that will allow family members to enroll voluntarily. In these social networks, the ECE will manage to bring parents with the same problem together, offer guidelines to recover, and offer activities that will distract them from their troubles. The third strategy that an ECE can use is to engage in open communication. In this strategy, the ECE can speak directly to the families experiencing the loss and offer the proper guideline to follow to recover from the situation.


Armstrong, K. H., Ogg, J. A., Sundman-Wheat, A. N., & Walsh, A. S. J. (2014). Evidence-based interventions for children with challenging behavior. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-7807-2_2 Springer.

Cas, A. G., Frankenberg, E., Suriastini, W., & Thomas, D. (2014). The impact of parental death on child well-being: evidence from the Indian Ocean tsunami. Demography, 51(2), pp. 437-457. doi:10.1007/s13524-014-0279-8.

Ellis, J., Dowrick, C., & Lloyd-Williams, M. (2013). The long-term impact of early parental death: lessons from a narrative study. Journal of the royal society of medicine, 106(2), pp.57-67. doi:10.1177/0141076812472623

Walsh, F., & McGoldrick, M. (2013). Bereavement: A family life cycle perspective. Family Science, 4(1), pp.20-27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19424620.2013.819228

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Effects of Death on the Development of Children Paper Example. (2022, Jun 19). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/effects-of-death-on-the-development-of-children-paper-example

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