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Furman, R.A. (1964). Death and the Young Child—Some Preliminary Considerations. Psychoanal. St. Child, 19:321-333.

(1964). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 19:321-333

Death and the Young Child—Some Preliminary Considerations

Robert A. Furman, M.D.


If Helene Deutsch's thoughts on the importance of completing the mourning task are accepted, then it is important to stress certain considerations: that a two- to three-year-old can master the concept of death; that a three-and-a-half- to four-year-old can mourn; that these precious abilities can be made unavailable to a child by unfavorable circumstances but can be supported and sustained to be at his service in favorable circumstances.

These considerations suggest the validity of encouraging and supporting parents to convey the essence of death as a part of life to two-, three-, and four-year-old children and the validity of trying to make professional guidance and support available to the parent or parents of small children who have suffered an important loss.

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