Jun 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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PSY 113 - Psychology of Death and Dying

Credits: 3
3 Lecture Hours

This course explores Thanatology, the study of death and dying. The course covers American attitudes toward death, biological and psychological definitions of death, crisis and grief, the psycho-social impact of terminal illness, contemporary funeral and burial rituals, ethical issues related to death and dying, the dynamics of suicide, prevention and intervention, the psychosocial management of dying patients and relatives, children, adolescents and death, old age and death and issues of loss and grief for the bereaved.
Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, the student will:

  1. Differentiate personal and cultural-religious attitudes toward death and grief.
  2. Describe strategies for dealing with terminal illness.
  3. Compare and contrast the psychological significance of contemporary funeral and burial rites.
  4. Describe the causes, effects and preventive strategies/interventions associated with suicide and other violent deaths.
  5. List various community supports dealing with grief.
  6. Describe the various research methods and principles of research utilized in death and dying research.
  7. Assess the value of human life.
Listed Topics
  1. Cross-cultural, religious, and historical attitudes toward death
  2. Health care systems and death
  3. Living with life-threatening illness
  4. Euthanasia
  5. Forms of grief-therapeutic interventions
  6. Funerals and body disposition
  7. The law and death
  8. Death in the lives of children, adolescents and adults
  9. Violent deaths, including suicide, homicide and risk taking behaviors– causes/intervention
  10. Beyond death–life after life
  11. Research methods and ethical principles of research
Reference Materials
Currently recognized texts, videos, handouts, internet resources and library resources.
Students who successfully complete this course acquire general knowledge, skills and abilities that align with CCAC’s definition of an educated person. Specifically, this course fulfills these General Education Goals:
  • Communication
  • Culture Society & Citizenship
Approved By: Dr. Quintin B. Bullock Date Approved: 10/11/2019
Last Reviewed: 3/12/2020

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