Title

The concept of death and the growth of death awareness among university students in Hong Kong : a study of the efficacy of death education programmes in Hong Kong universities

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Omega: Journal of Death and Dying

Publication Date

2017

Volume

74

Issue

3

First Page

304

Last Page

328

Publisher

Sage Publications, Inc.

Keywords

death education, university students, death attitude, death awareness

Abstract

This study examined the concept of and attitudes toward death of university students and evaluated the efficacy of the death education courses offered by different universities in Hong Kong. The study adopted a pretreatment and posttreatment comparison approach in assessing the efficacy of the courses. The same set of instruments, Death Attitude Profile-Revised and Semantic Differential Ratings of Life and Death, measuring students' views of and attitudes toward death were administered to the students twice, once at the start of the courses and another at the end. Results of the pretreatment survey also served to depict the current state of students' views and attitudes. The target students comprised two groups: those taking the relevant courses and those not; this latter group served as a comparison group in assessing the treatment group's behavior. The achieved sample included 368 students who responded to both the pre- and posttreatment surveys, of which 134 had attended the relevant courses. The results indicated that the students had a more negative views on death as compared with that of life. Findings also suggested that the death education courses had significant and positive impact on the students, that is, viewing death more positively than before, having less fear and avoidance confronting death. However, the impact differed depending on the gender as well as death experience of the student.

DOI

10.1177/0030222815598461

Print ISSN

00302228

E-ISSN

15413764

Funding Information

The author has received a research grant from Lingnan University, Hong Kong.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © The Author(s) 2015. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Wong, W.-Y. (2017). The concept of death and the growth of death awareness among university students in Hong Kong: A study of the efficacy of death education programmes in Hong Kong universities. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 74(3), 304-328. doi: 10.1007/10.1177/0030222815598461