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RODRIGUEZ, Cláudia Fernanda  and  KOVACS, Maria Julia. What do teenagers have to say about the high rates of mortality in adolescence?. Imaginario [online]. 2005, vol.11, n.11, pp. 111-136. ISSN 1413-666X.

This work has investigated how adolescents perceive and deal with death, and also it has verified how they can explain the high mortality rates in their age group. This is a relevant and fundamental reflection, because statistics indicates an astonishing data about the increase of mortality among adolescents, mainly deaths related to accidents and violent ones. Teenagers (14 - 17 years old) from two schools in the city of São Paulo had participated in this study. The video “Talking about death to the adolescent” (Laboratory of Death Studies of the Institute of Psychology of University of São Paulo) was shown and discussed with the adolescents. As a general rule, teenagers consider that death is something impossible for happening to them, expressing, in this way, feelings of immortality and omnipotence. Some of the hypothesis about the high mortality rates in adolescence were: the use of drugs; violence; the banalization of death; unfavourable social situations; AIDS; unemployment and lack of perspectives of the future; suicide; difficulty in communicating with professionals, friends and family; difficulty in expressing feelings and help requests; accidents; lack of limits, and the attitude of challenging the world; bad influences and the non-imposition of responsibility by society.

Keywords : Adolescence; Mortality rate; Death education.

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