Death Attitude and Belief in Afterlife

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A research study was conducted on religion, death attitude and belief in afterlife in the elderly by Marc Falkenhain and Paul J. Handal in 2003.The study indicated the relationship between religion, belief in afterlife and death attitudes (death acceptance and death anxiety) in elderly. Data was collected from 71 elderly participants through survey method. Results show a strong correlation between intrinsic religion and belief in after life and also a significant relationship between intrinsic religion and both death acceptance and death anxiety. (Marc Falkenhain and Paul J. Handal, 2003)

A subjective study is conducted on model of religion and death by Derek Pyne in 2008.The paper indicates several empirical findings related to religion. The main findings of the study are between religion and fear of death. The empirical results show that those individuals who are moderately religious have more fear of death than those who are extremely religious. (Derek Pyne, 2008)

Khadijeh Roshani conducted a study on finding relationship between religious beliefs and life satisfaction with death anxiety in elderly 2012.A sample of 120 elderly people through cluster sampling were selected as participants. Three scales were used in this research. First one is Arian’s Religiosity Questionnaire and the second one is Satisfaction with Life Scale and the last one is Collet-Lester’s Fear of Death Scale. The analysis of data includes Pearson correlation and multiple regression analysis. The result finding indicates a negative correlation between religious belief and death anxiety and it also shows a negative correlation between life satisfaction and death anxiety in the elder people. (Khadijeh Roshani, 2012)

In 2005 Stephen R. Harding, Kevin J. Flannelly, Andrew J. Weaver and Karen G. Costa give a study to investigate the influence of religion on death anxiety and death acceptance. Survey data was collected from 130 participants of an Episcopal Church in New York City find the relationship between Religiosity, death anxiety and death acceptance. The results indicate a negative correlation between belief in God existence and belief in after life with death anxiety and show a positive correlation with acceptance. Harding, Weaver and Costa explain that the individual who have strongly accepted God and an afterlife then those individual who have lower level of death anxiety. (Stephen R. Harding, Kevin J. Flannelly, Andrew J. Weaver and Karen G. Costa, 2005)

An article about Religion, Spirituality and Health by Harold G. Koeing gave a review of research on religion/Spirituality and both physical and mental health. Both spiritual and religious belief is used by patient’s i.e. psychiatric and medical patients to deal with stressful situations and diseases. The result shows that individuals who are more religious/spiritual have good mental health and they can adapt to health problems more quickly than those individual who are less religious / spiritual. (Harold G. Koenig, 2012)

Ya-Hui Wen studied the relationship between religiosity and death anxiety. He takes a sample of 175 church participants. The participants have to fill the Intrinsic Religious Motivation Scale and the Revised Death Anxiety Scale and also a personal questionnaire. In this study Pearson correlation, Factor analyses and quadric and linear regression analyses were used. The result shows a positive relationship between intrinsic motivations, strength of belief and frequency of religious service attendance. The findings also showed a quadratic and linear relationship between intrinsic religious motivations and death anxiety. (Ya-Hui Wen, 2010)

Power and Smith in 2008 used a sample of Atlantic Canadian University students to find out a relationship between Religiosity and some measure of death anxiety. They found a positive relationship between religiosity and some measure of death anxiety i.e. fear of the dead, fear of being destroyed and fear of conscience death.(Power and Smith,2008)

Spilka, Hood and Gorsuch (1985) explain 36 studied and showed that 24 of them are negative correlation between death anxiety and religiosity and three of them are positive correlation and three of them are positive correlation and two showed mixed correlation and seven showed no relationship. (Spilka, Hood and Gorsuch, 1985)
Donovan in 1994 explained that 57% have negative correlation in religiosity and death anxiety and only 9% of them show positive correlation and 33%of them have no clear relationship while the existing explanation suggest that the association religiosity and death anxiety is negative. (Donovan, 1994)

Although it is concluded that religiosity play an important role in individual’s attitudes about death. D.M. Wulff’s (1991) explain the complex or multidimensional model of religiosity. D.M Wulff’s explain the links between religious attitude as studied by the post- critical Beliefs scale and death attitude Profile- Revised. The questionnaires were completed by 471 Dutch-speaking Belgian Adult.

Multiple Regression Analysis was used to find out the relationship between religious attitudes to prognosis death attitude. First result shows that religious people are more likely to accept attitude toward death because the individual beliefs in afterlife and secondly people accurate attitude toward religion and they address death anxiety and shows that the religious contents is link with bunker mentality toward death and lastly the D.M Wulff’s explain the conjunction of the two dimension appear major in the prognosis of a neutral acceptance attitude. (Dezutter J, 2009)

Bivariate relationship was studied between each of five component was (Christian) religiosity and the other six variable was studied the people attitude toward death and dying. A sample was selected by German male and female in which 93 were female and 93 were male at the age of 45-55 year. The variable was collected both by questionnaire and by means of interview. In man death anxiety by other person are negatively correlated with various sides of religiosity but in women the death anxiety of one’s own was inversely related to religiosity.

Acceptance with the virtuous standards of the Roman Catholic Church shows that the two aspects in women only that found to be positively correlated with fear of death and dying i.e. sexuality and birth control. In man only beliefs in God shows a positive association with an attitude of acceptance toward death and dying. (Joachim Wittkowski, 1988)

A study analyzing death anxiety in sari public hospital revealed that death anxiety is highly prevalent among hospital staff and the reason for this cause is that it will be due to their special working conditions. In addition the death anxiety has no relationship with such variables as age, marital status and number of children, education and occupational status.

Mehnert and Koch (2011) found that death acceptance and psychological stresses, fighting style and life quality have an impact on health .some studies have been conducted to compare death anxiety and death attitude among patients with different diseases and also among healthy and sick people.

However few studies have focused on a simultaneous comparison of two kinds of diseases and healthy people. Thus simultaneous analysis of death attitudes in different patients and healthy individuals can clarify misinformation about the relationship between disease and death attitude and it may prevent self-destructive behaviors during stressful circumstances. Therefore two disease groups, which are among the most chronic and fatal disease, were selected in study and of diabetes disease diabetes type 2 was selected because of its higher prevalence and its outbreak age which is 40 years. (Mehnert and Koch, 2011)

In the cancer group, patients with breast and digestive systems cancer were studied. The occurrence of these two cancers is higher than other cancers, and their outbreak age is similar to diabetes type 2. This research aims to compare death attitude in healthy individuals and those suffering from cancer and diabetes. This was an exposed facto study .

The statistical community consisted of healthy individuals and patients with diabetes type 2 and cancer .who referred to tooba specialized center and imam hospital center from September 2011 to January 2012.The age range of the patients was 20-70 years. 87 patients suffering from cancer (breast and digestive system), 108 with diabetes type2 and 105 healthy people participated in the study. The 3 groups were matched by age, gender and education and monthly income. Death attitude profile revised (DAPR) questionnaire was used .This questionnaire was produced by wang, Recker and gesser in 1994, and it consists of 32 questions in a seven-degree Likert Scale (from completely agree to completely disagree).

Data analysis revealed no significant difference in death attitude among the three groups. This finding is contrary to the studies that found patients think more about death than healthy individuals, and they use more conscious expression to vent their worry over death. Studies conducted to compare death anxiety in patients with cancer with other patients revealed that these patients tolerate higher death anxiety. (Erotec Quality of life group, 2002)


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Death Attitude and Belief in Afterlife. (2020, Sep 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/death-attitude-and-belief-in-afterlife/



What are the beliefs of death?
Hinduism Religion Christianity View on Death Separation of eternal spirit from physical body Brain death supported as death by Christian denominations DNR/DNI Permitted if interventions would be futile or burdensome Rituals Prayer Sacraments Burial or cremation allowed
What are the different types of afterlife?
The different types of afterlife are reincarnation and resurrection.
What is the belief in life after death?
The belief in life after death is a belief that many people have. It is a belief that when a person dies, they go to another place.
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