The present study applied several concepts typically included in thanatology research to an atheist sample. Atheists are a growing segment of the population in the United States, though little is known about this group. A sample of 355 adults who self-identify as atheist completed an online survey assessing forms of spirituality, anti-atheist discrimination, and meaning reconstruction in order to examine associations between these variables and bereavement outcomes of complicated grief and psychological distress. Results of a multiple regression analysis suggested that spirituality was not related to bereavement outcomes, anti-atheist discrimination was related to poorer bereavement outcomes, while the relationship between meaning reconstruction and bereavement outcomes was mixed. These results provide a foundation for additional exploration of bereavement processes in atheist individuals, and implications for future research and practice are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Life-span and Life-course Studies