Child & Youth Care Forum

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

End-of-Life Issues in US Child Life Specialist Programs

  • Katie V. Parvin
  • George E. Dickinson
Original Paper


A professional outlet in most children’s hospitals for seriously-ill children is the child life specialist. Our objective in this study was to determine the extent that dying and death is emphasized in child life programs in the United States. Therefore, we surveyed via snail mail the 35 child life programs on the website of the Child Life Council. A response rate of 74% revealed that all programs offer something on this topic and over two-thirds have a separate course for the topic of dying and death, with an average of 33 course content hours of instruction per program. The lecture mode is the most frequent teaching method, and the child life specialist is most often the instructor.


Child life specialist Child life curricula End-of-life issues Death and dying education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyCollege of CharlestonCharlestonUSA

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