Embracing Death: Mexican Parent and Child Perspectives on Death

Child Dev. 2020 Mar;91(2):e491-e511. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13263. Epub 2019 May 29.


A mixed-method approach was used to explore parent and child perspectives on death in Mexico. Parents' and children's death-related experiences and understanding of death were examined. While all children in this sample displayed a biological understanding of death, older children were less likely to endorse that all living things die. Children also displayed coexistence of beliefs related to death that can be attributed to both their biological and spiritual understanding of death. We also found that older children were more likely to report that a child should feel sad following the death of a loved one. These findings highlight how cultural practices shape the development of cognitive and affective processes related to death.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Death / ethnology*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / ethnology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comprehension*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexico / ethnology
  • Parents*