A Multifactorial Approach to Predicting Death Anxiety: Assessing the Role of Religiosity, Susceptibility to Mortality Cues, and Individual Differences

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Death anxiety is not only experienced by individuals receiving end-of-life care, but also by family members, social workers, and other service providers who support these individuals. Thus, identifying predictors of individual differences in experienced death anxiety levels may have both theoretical and clinical ramifications. The present study assessed the relative influence of religiosity, susceptibility to mortality cues, state and trait anxiety, and demographic factors in the experience of death anxiety through an online survey distributed to members of two online communities related to end-of-life care. Results indicated that cognitive and emotional susceptibility to mortality cues, as well as gender, predicted differences in death anxiety. Conversely, religiosity and age did not increase the predictive power of the model. Thus, death anxiety may be a function of emotional, cognitive, and sociocultural factors that interact in complex, but predictable, ways to modulate the response to mortality cues that occur in one’s life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-172
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 3 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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