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Determinants of existential death anxiety : a cross-sectional survey study on the effect of age, gender and religious affiliation on death anxiety

Robah, Karin (2017) Determinants of existential death anxiety : a cross-sectional survey study on the effect of age, gender and religious affiliation on death anxiety.

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Abstract:Objective: The awareness of the own death represents one of the biggest threats to the human beings, because humans are evolutionary determined to survive. Death Anxiety can therefore mitigate the individual wellbeing. Death Anxiety is a universal phenomenon, but individuals differ in their perceived anxiety level. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between Death Anxiety and socio-demographical factors in a non-clinical sample. Method: To clarify if the socio-demographical factors gender, age and religious affiliation are associated with Death Anxiety, a cross-sectional survey study was conducted within a non-clinical sample in the Netherlands. Death Anxiety was measured using a newly composed subscale from the Existential Concerns Questionnaire (ECQ) and the Death attitude profile revised anxiety subscale (DAP-R). Most of the 389 participants were students at the University of Twente in Enschede. In total 254 women and 133 men aged between 19 and 84 years with a Median age of 43.0 years participated in this study. Results: The strongest determinant of Death Anxiety was found to be gender. Female participants showed a significant higher level of Death Anxiety in comparison to male participants on both the ECQ (t (385) = -3.925, p < .001) and DAP-R subscale (t (385) = -3.568, p < .001). Moreover, curve estimation indicated a non-linear, but rather u-shaped association between age and Death Anxiety on the DAP-R subscale (B= -.389; p =.026) in comparison to the ECQ subscale (B= -.007; p =.777). Participants in their 20ies tended to report a higher level of Death Anxiety, same as participants of an age ranging between 50 and 60 years. No significant association was found between worldview and Death Anxiety as measured by both subscales. Conclusion: Women and both younger and older participants reported more Death Anxiety. Worldview is not seemed to be related to Death Anxiety. However, the total explained variation was very low, which means that there can be other variables predicting Death Anxiety.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/72696
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