Factors Related to Life satisfaction, Meaning of life, Religiosity and Death Anxiety in Health Care Staff and Students: A Cross Sectional Study from India

Latha, KS and Sahana, M and Mariella, D and Subbannayya, K and Asha, K (2013) Factors Related to Life satisfaction, Meaning of life, Religiosity and Death Anxiety in Health Care Staff and Students: A Cross Sectional Study from India. [Journal (On-line/Unpaginated)]

Full text available as:

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.



Death is beyond one's personal control, generates great concern and anxiety, among human beings. Studies exploring the association between religious attitudes and death attitudes in adolescents and young adults in postmodern society are scarce. This study examines the relationship between five dimensions of attitude toward death (fear of death, death avoidance, neutral acceptance, approach acceptance, and escape acceptance), death anxiety, life satisfaction and meaning, religiosity and selected personal factors among health care staff and students in three teaching hospitals. A total of 230 adolescents and adults both sexes who were willing participated. Diener et al Satisfaction with Life, Steger et al Meaning of Life Questionnaire; Templer's Death Anxiety Scale, Wong's Death Attitude Profile-R and a religious attitude scale were administered. Findings showed students' search for meaning was higher than faculty. An unusual finding of higher Approach acceptance death attitude in students emerged. Correlation analysis revealed that presence of meaning was related to greater life satisfaction in both groups. It was further related to higher religiosity in both groups and higher neutral acceptance of death and lesser death anxiety in students alone. In both groups search for meaning was positively associated with death anxiety. Faculty's search for meaning was positively associated with negative death attitudes and surprisingly one positive death attitude. Death anxiety was more with faculty's advancing age, and was also more when both groups held negative death attitudes. Religiosity was positively associated with death anxiety in students. Further, religiosity was not only positively associated with positive death attitudes of approach acceptance (both groups) and neutral acceptance (faculty) but also with negative attitude of death avoidance (faculty). Death anxiety was more despite both groups embracing approach acceptance death attitude indicating ambivalent death views.

Item Type:Journal (On-line/Unpaginated)
Keywords:Death Attitudes; Death Anxiety; Religiosity; Life satisfaction; Meaning in life
Subjects:JOURNALS > Online Journal of Health and Allied Sciences
ID Code:9155
Deposited By: Kakkilaya Bevinje, Dr. Srinivas
Deposited On:25 Feb 2014 12:41
Last Modified:25 Feb 2014 12:41

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

1. Greenberg, J., Koole, S. L., Pyszczynski, T., (Eds.) 2004. Handbook of Experimental Existential Psychology. Guildford Press, New York.

2. Wass H, Neimeyer RA. (Eds) Dying: Facing the facts. Taylor & Francis, Washington, DC. 1995.

3. Yalom ID. Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA. 2008

4. Neimeyer RA. From death anxiety to meaning making at the end of life: recommendations for psychological assessment. Clin. Psychol-Sci. Pr. 2005;12(3):354-357

5. Tomer A, Eliason G. Beliefs about self, life and death: testing aspects of a comprehensive model of death anxiety and death attitudes, in: Tomer A. (Ed.), Death Attitudes and the Older Adult. Theories, Concepts, and Applications. Brunner-Routledge, Philadelphia. 2000. pp. 137-153.

6. Tomer A, Eliason GT, Wong PTP. Existential and Spiritual Issues in Death Attitudes. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, New York. 2008

7. Cohen AB, Pierce JD, Chamber J, Meade R, Gorvine BJ, Koenig HG. Intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity, belief in the afterlife, death anxiety, and life satisfaction in young Catholics and Protestants. J. Res. Pers. 2005;39: 307-324.

8. Diener E, Emmons RA, Larsen RJ, Griffin S. The satisfaction with life scale. J. Pers. Assess. 1985;49:71-75.

9. Diener E. Assessing subjective well-being: Progress andopportunities. Social Indicators Research. 1994;31:103-157.

10. Steger M, Frazier P, Oishi S, Kaler M. The meaning in life questionnaire: assessing the presence of and search for meaning in life. J. Couns. Psychol. 2006;53(1):80-93.

11. Templer DI. The construction and validation of a death anxiety scale. J. Gen. Psychol. 1970;82:165-177.

12. Wong PT, Reker GT, Gesser G. Death Attitude Profile revised: a multidimensional measure of attitudes towards death. In Neimeyer RA. (Ed.) Death anxiety Handbook: Research, Instrumentation, and Application. Taylor & Francis, Washington, DC. 1994. pp.121-148.

13. Wong PTP. Spirituality, meaning, and successful aging. In Wong PTP, Fry PS. (Eds.) The Human Quest for Meaning: A Handbook of Psychological Research and Clinical Applications. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, New Jersey. 1998. pp. 359-394.

14. Erikson EH. Identity: Youth, and Crisis. Norton, New York. 1968.

15. Steger MF, Oishi S, Kashdan TB. Meaning in life across the life span: levels and correlates of meaning in life from emerging adulthood to older adulthood. J. Posit. Psychol. 2009;4:43-52

16. Gesser G, Wong PTP, Reker GT. Death attitudes across the life-span: The development and validation of the Death Attitude Profile. Omega (West Port). 1987-1988;18(2): 113-128.

17. Zika S, Chamberlain K. Relation of hassles and personality to subjective well-being. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 1987;53:155-162.

18. Chamberlain K, Zika S. Religiosity, life meaning, and wellbeing: some relationships in a sample of women. J. Sci. Study. Relig. 1988;27:411-420.

19. Abdel-Khalek AM. Subjective well-being and religiosity in Egyptian college students. Psychol. Rep. 2011;108(1):54-58.

20. Hadaway CK. Life satisfaction and religion: a reanalysis. Soc. Forces. 1978;57(2):636-643.

21. Hunsberger B. Religion, age, life satisfaction, and perceived sources of religiousness: a study of older persons. J .Gerontol. 1985;40:615-620.

22. Pollner M. Divine relations, social relations, and well-being. J. Health. Soc. Behav.1989;30:92-104.

23. Koenig HG, Larson DB. Religion and mental health: evidence for an association. Int. Rev. Psychiatry. 2001;13:67-78.

24. Pargament KI. The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice. Guilford Press, New York. 1997

25. Peterson C, Ruch W, Beerman U, Park N, Seligman MEP. Strength and character orientations to happiness and life satisfaction. J. Posit. Psychol. 2007;2:149-156

26. Durlak JA. Relationship between individual attitudes towards life and death. J. Consult. Clin Psychol. 1972;38:463.

27. Hui VK, Fung HH. Mortality anxiety as a function of intrinsic religiosity and perceived purpose in life. Death. Stud. 2008-2009;33(1):30-50.

28. Reid JK. Tickets to adulthood? The relationship between life attitudes, death acceptance, and autonomy in adulthood. Fam. Ther. 1996;23(2):135-149.

29. Lewis MI, Butler RN. Life-review therapy: putting memories to work in individual and group psychotherapy. Geriatrics. 1974;29(11):165-173.

30. Steger MF, Kashdan TB, Sullivan BA, Lorentz D. Understanding the search for meaning in life: personality, cognitive style, and the dynamic between seeking and experiencing meaning. J. Pers. 2008;76(2):199-228.

31. Crumbaugh JC, Maholick LT. An experimental study in existentialism: the psychometric approach to Frankl's concept of noogenic neurosis. J. Clin. Psychol. 1964;20:200-207.

32. Frenz AW, Carey MP, Jorgensen RS. Psychometric evaluation of Antonovsky's Sense of Coherence Scale. Psychol. Assess. 1993;5:145-153.

33. Nicholson T, Higgins W, Turner P, James S, Stickle F, Pruitt T. The relation between meaning in life and the occurrence of drug abuse: a retrospective study. Psychol. Addict. Behav. 1994;8:24-28.

34. Quinn PK, Reznikoff M. The relationship between death anxiety and the subjective experience of time in the elderly. Intl. J. Aging. Hum. Dev. 1985;21(3):197-210.

35. Ardelt M. Effects of religion and purpose in life on elder's subjective well-being and attitudes towards death. J. Relig. Gerontol. 2003;14 (4):55-76.

36. Powell K. The relation of search for and presence of meaning in life to attitudes about death(Master's thesis). 2010. Retrieved from .

37. Katz S. The relation of the mid-life transition to death anxiety and self-actualization. Diss. Abstr. Int. 1979;39:4039.

38. Cicirelli VG. Fear of death in older adults: predictions from terror management theory. J. Gerontol. B. Psychol. Sci .Soc. Sci. 2002;57B:358-366.

39. DePaola SJ, Griffin M, Young J R, Neimeyer RA. Death anxiety and attitudes toward the elderly among older adults: the role of gender and ethnicity. Death. Stud. 2003;27(4):335-354.

40. Fortner BV, Neimeyer RA. Death anxiety in older adults: a quantitative review. Death. Stud. 1999;23(5):387-411.

41. Thorson JA, Powell FC. Meanings of death and intrinsic religiosity. J. Clin. Psychol. 1990;46:379-391.

42. Neimeyer RA, Moser RP, Wittkowski J. Psychological research on death attitudes: an overview and evaluation. Death. Stud. 2004;28(4):309-340.

43. Thorson JA, Powell FC. Death anxiety and religion in an older male sample. Psychol. Rep. 1989;64(3):985-986.

44. McMordie WR. Religiosity and fear of death: strength of belief system. Psychol. Rep. 1981;49(3):921-922.

45. Smith DK, Nehemkis AM, Charter RA. Fear of death, death attitudes, and religious conviction in the terminally ill. Int J Psych. Med. 1983-84;13:221-232.

46. Ray JJ, Najman J. Death anxiety and death acceptance: a preliminary approach. Omega (West Port). 1974;5(4):311-315.

47. Bond CW. Religiosity, age, gender, and death anxiety (Master's thesis). 1998. Retrieved from

48. DePaola SJ, Neimeyer RA, Ross SK. Death concern and attitudes toward the elderly in nursing home personnel as a function of training. Omega (Westport). 1994;29(3):231-248.

49. Feifel H. Attitudes toward death in some normal and mentally ill populations. In: Feifel., H. (Ed.), The Meaning of Death. McGraw-Hill, New York. 1959. pp. 114-130.

50. Feifel H, Branscomb A. Who's afraid of death? J. Abnorm. Psychol. 1973;81:38-45.

51. Donahue M J. Intrinsic and extrinsic religiousness: review and meta-analysis. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 1985;48:400-419.

52. Abdel-Khalek AM, Lester D. Religiosity and death anxiety: no association in Kuwait. Psychol. Rep. 2009;104(3):770-772.

53. Clements R. Intrinsic religious motivation and attitudes toward death among the elderly. Curr. Psychol. 1998;17:237-248.

54. Kraft WA, Litwin WJ, Barber SE. Religious orientation and assertiveness: Relationship to death anxiety. The J. Soc .Psychol. 2001;127:93-95.

55. Minear J D, Brush LR. The correlations of attitudes toward suicide with death anxiety, religiosity, and personal closeness to suicide. Omega (West Port). 1980-1981;11(4):317-324.

56. Richardson V, Berman S, Piwowarski M. Projective assessment of the relationships between the salience of death, religion, and age among adults in America. J. Gen. Psychol. 1983;109:149-156.

57. Suhail K, Akram S. Correlates of death anxiety in Pakistan. Death. Stud. 2002;26:39-50.

58. Dezutter J, Soenens B, Luyck K, Bruyneel S, Vansteenkiste M, Duriez B, Hutsebaut D. The role of religion in death attitudes: distinguishing between religious belief and style of processing religious contents. Death. Stud. 2009;33(1):73-92.

59. Harding SR, Flannelly KJ, Weaver AJ, Costa KG. The influence of religion on death anxiety and death acceptance. Ment. Health. Relig. Cult. 2005;8:253-261

60. Kubler-Ross E. The Wheel of Life: A memoir of Living and Dying. Simon & Schuster, New York. 1997

61. Christopher A, Drummond K, Jones J, Marek P, Therriault K. Beliefs about one's own death, personal insecurity, and materialism. Pers. Individ. Dif. 2006;40:441-451.


Repository Staff Only: item control page