Life Span Issues and Traumatic Death

Authored by: Karolina Krysinska , David Lester

Handbook of Thanatology

Print publication date:  May  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9781138430815
eBook ISBN: 9780203767306
Adobe ISBN: 9781136726507


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The experience of death has changed dramatically over the centuries. Life expectancy has increased tremendously, and this phenomenon, together with the decline in extended families sharing the same residence, has resulted in people today having less experience of death of any kind. For example, in one parish in London in the 1580s, for every 100 babies born, about 70 survived to their 1st birthday, 50 to their 5th, and only 30 to their 15th (Forbes, 1970). Life expectancy in the United States rose from the 40s in 1900 to the 70s in 2000 (Lamb, 2003).

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