Children’s Experiences of Death Anxiety and Responses to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Jones, Kerry and Hughes, Ben (2022). Children’s Experiences of Death Anxiety and Responses to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Illness, Crisis & Loss, 31(3) pp. 558–575.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/10541373221100899

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore children’s experience and responses to the Covid-19 pandemic through their illustrations and short narrations. During October 2020 and January 2021 data was collected from thirteen children aged 9–10 years old in a primary school in the North-West of England. Children were asked to draw their thoughts and feelings about the pandemic and to write a short narration to accompany the drawing. Thematic analysis of data revealed that during the pandemic children at this age have an understanding of death, experience death anxiety and are able to use creative expression to facilitate meaning of the impact of lockdown on their lives such as feeling isolated, lonely, sad and bored. Creative expression also facilitated adaptive coping mechanisms derived from being able to spend more time with family. The data on primary school children is part of a larger study which involved surveys and interviews with children aged 12–16 years in secondary schools.

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