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Peer Reviewed, Open Access, Free Online Journal Published Quarterly : Mangalore, South India : ISSN 0972-5997 Volume 12, Issue 2; Apr-Jun 2013 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNo Derivative Works 2.5 India License
Factors Related to Life satisfaction, Meaning of life, Religiosity and Death Anxiety in Health Care Staff and Students: A Cross Sectional Study from India.
Authors Latha KS, Dept of Psychiatry, Dr.A.V. Baliga Memorial Hospital, Udupi, India, Sahana M, Dept of Clinical Psychology, MCOAHS, Manipal University, Manipal, India, Mariella D, Dept of Psychiatry, KMC Hospital, Manipal University, Mangalore, India, Subbannayya K, Dept of Microbiology, KVG Medical College, Sullia, India, Asha K, Dept of Community Medicine, KMC, Manipal University, Manipal, India. Address for Correspondence Latha KS, Dept of Psychiatry, Dr.A.V. Baliga Memorial Hospital, Udupi, India. E-mail: email@example.com Citation Latha KS, Sahana M, Mariella D, Subbannayya K, Asha K. Factors Related to Life satisfaction, Meaning of life, Religiosity and Death Anxiety in Health Care Staff and Students: A cross Sectional Study from India. Online J Health Allied Scs. 2013;12(2):7. Available at URL: http://www.ojhas.org/issue46/2013-2-7.html Open Access Archives http://cogprints.org/view/subjects/OJHAS.html http://openmed.nic.in/view/subjects/ojhas.html Submitted: Apr 20, 2013; Accepted: Jul 1, 2013; Published: Aug 25, 2013 Abstract: 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. Key Words: Death Attitudes; Death Anxiety; Religiosity; Life satisfaction; Meaning in life. Introduction: Death is beyond one's personal control and generally generates great concern and anxiety, among human beings. It is the single universal event that affects all of us in ways more than we care to know [1-3]. Yet, it is very essential to be cognizant of the fact that people vary in the ways they view death. Some are threatened by death, while others see it as a natural end; still some others avoid thinking about death. Accordingly, people may or may not experience death anxiety. Meaning one ascribes to life can also determine the amount of death anxiety experienced and death attitudes held. Conversely, attitudes towards death can define personal meaning and determine how we live [4-6]. All Religions offer a framework to cope with death related concerns. Traditionally religion is believed to offer ways to comprehend unpredictability and finality of death and help to reduce anxieties stemming from prospect of death. However, how religion may have differing influences on death attitudes depends on the varied religious attitudes people may have. For example studies by Cohen et al (2005 ) showed that intrinsic religiosity (i.e., experiencing religion as a master motive in one's life) was negatively related to death anxiety while extrinsic religiosity (i.e., using religion to gain some end such as emotional support) was positively related to death anxiety.
09(2.874 *Death Attitude Profile. o Neutral Acceptance.914 Acceptance DAP-Escape 1. Research has established acceptable psychometric properties for the SWLS  2. 66% were married and 33% were single. Therefore. Majority of the students (64%) and faculty (59%) hailed from urban areas. meaning.81) . The mean age of students was 22.850 .135 .Life satisfaction is defined as a positive cognitive evaluation of one's life. Majority of the participants in both the groups were predominantly females (60% in faculty and 57% in students). 4. Both students (91%) and faculty (81%) predominantly belonged to nuclear families. In addition. Among students.6% and among faculty 25% had ongoing psychosocial problems. Whereas.D. post graduates in various medical and allied science specializations.674) 1.53(5. Health of significant others.41) 27.22(.37(. nursing students and doctoral candidates.05 o Independent sample t-tests showed that among students.772 Acceptance Religiosity 42. In the previous 6 months.V.05) than faculty [Table 1] showing that as young adults students need to explore meaning will be more. thus revealing the willingness to be aware of their mortality as opposed to being in denial of death.33) 26. o Fear of Death. p<.66(13. neutral acceptance. while among the faculty financial and health of others were significant concerns. o Death Avoidance .619) 2. The faculty also belonged to same institutions.03) 42.99(. Escape Acceptance .9 (SD-2.59(1. life satisfaction.1%among students and 8% among faculty. 27% of students and 32 % of faculty came from suburbs. 5.472 (Presence) Meaning in life 24. The Search for Meaning subscale measures how engaged and motivated respondents are in efforts to find meaning or deepen their understanding of meaning in their lives. Sullia & Dr.96(.47(. financial and relationship problems in that order were prominent among students. Table 1: Distribution of Mean scores & S.557) 3. Meaning in Life. death anxiety. p-< **. and a satisfied life can give a feeling of adequate closure preventing one from developing undue anxiety and negative attitudes towards death.55(5. Among the death attitudes. Among students 44.01 *.27) . Satisfaction with Life (Diener et al 1985): A five item scale measuring individual's evaluation of satisfaction with life in general.34(. Templer Death Anxiety Scale (Templer 1970): A self-administered 15-item scale rated as true or false.35(5.033 . Majority of the students (39%) and faculty (84%) were Hindus and among students there were nearly 30% who were Muslims medical undergraduates and 17% were Buddhists.39(12. wherein 130 were students and 100 were faculty. Methods Participants: Two hundred and thirty subjects (130 students and 100 faculties) of both sexes participated.05. They hailed from four teaching hospitals: Kasturba Medical College (Manipal & Mangalore).A view of accepting death as an alternative to life filled with pain and misery.623) 2. 17. Death of a significant other was the most common life event. The Presence of Meaning subscale measures how full respondents feel their lives are of meaning.Avoidance of thinking or talking about death to reduce death anxiety.4 (SD-11. among the faculty who were older than the students were in general.55) . and an important indicator of subjective wellbeing .558 .002** Acceptance DAP-Fear of 2.09) . Higher score suggests satisfaction with life.92(7. Death Attitude Profile-R (Wong et al 1994) : A multidimensional measure of attitudes towards death consisting 32 items scored on a 7-point Likert scale and used to determine the following attitudes towards death: o Approach Acceptance attitude.734) . The Meaning in Life Questionnaire (Steger et al. High scores indicate high death anxiety while low scores indicate low death anxiety.05) 21.. There is a paucity of Indian studies exploring differences in death attitudes related correlates between different age groups. KVG.This study used the 9 item Religion subscale.An individual's awareness of the realities of death.251 satisfaction Meaning in life 26.336. Tools & Instruments 1.25(.786) 3.75 097 Death DAP-Death 2. Substance use was reported by 13% of students and 8% of the faculty. Death Anxiety. of Life Satisfaction. and escape acceptance).73) .24(. t=. meaning and religiosity between health care faculty and students in four teaching hospitals. only approach acceptance was significantly higher among the 2 . all were single.29.018 . majority were between 20-25 years whereas.17 and the mean age of faculty were 37.654) 3.Baliga Hospital. SD=7.A.164 758 Avoidance DAP-Neutral 3.06(5. studies examining interrelations of death related correlates in different age samples are scarce. death avoidance. Personal Meaning Profile: (Wong.81).690 .29(7. 3. There were 14% of Christians and 2% of Muslims among the faculty. approach acceptance.08(.081 DAP* Approach 2. The students were from different health care disciplines: under graduate medical students. death anxiety. Udupi.Death is neither feared nor welcomed.752) .016* (Search) Death Anxiety 6.75 . Among the students except 5 out of 130. Alcohol was the most common substance used in both the groups. Having a meaningful and purposeful framework of life can enhance satisfaction with life. The investigation further purports to examine the interrelations between death attitudes. Results There were 230 participants. 1998): A 57item 7 point Likert scale yields scores reflecting strength of an individual's general sense of meaning and purpose in life and has subscales in seven specific life domains . religiosity and life satisfaction among health care faculty and students.597) .Reflects the belief in an afterlife and a desire to go there. among faculty majority belonged to the age range of 25 -45 years.. the present study is aimed at examining differences in five dimensions of attitudes toward death (fear of death.336 . Consenting participants were invited in small groups of 10-15 and briefed about the nature of study and questionnaires were administered. Death attitudes & Religiosity across Groups Student (NFaculty(NF value p Variable 130) Mean (SD) 100)Mean (SD) DF (228) value Life 25.16(. search for meaning in life was significantly higher ( Mean = 24. 2006) : A 10-item scale with two subscales tapping presence and search of meaning in life on a 7-point Likert scale. Medical College.6% among students and 11% among faculty had experienced a life event. The presence of physical illness was 13.99) 6.688) 2.
Studies involving comparison of varied factors related to death in young and comparatively older subjects along with examination of interrelations of varied factors related to death anxiety in such samples is scarce in India . Among all the death attitudes.01). p<.01).318 DAP( -. p<. p<.244* MLQ( . Female predominance was seen in both groups. 7 Neutral Acceptance. Health of significant others was a major concern in students while finance was the major problem in faculty. Students experienced more psychosocial problems than faculty. presence of meaning in life was slightly higher in the faculty than the student group.046 . Search for meaning in life positively correlated with death anxiety (r=.163 -.055 S)2 1* * ** .186 -. A negative correlation emerged between presence of meaning in life and death anxiety (r=-. death being the most common.019 -. student's search for meaning in life was higher than faculty which is not surprising.068 .17 .047 .099 .248 DAP( . Students and faculty did not differ in their religiosity.102 5 .263.114 . Majority of the students were single while majority of the faculty were married.128 FD)5 * . p<.34 .366* * . p<. life satisfaction and meaning. death anxiety.141 1 7** 1. p<.005 -.007 DA)6 ** AGE DAP( NA)7 DAP( EA)8 -.392* DAP( . p<.156 .105 .236* .452 -.191.089 -.168 -.150 00 ** 0 1. Presence of meaning in life positive correlated with satisfaction in life (r=. Hence.218. * . correlation analysis (as seen in Table 2) revealed that in students. death avoidance.623.05).020 .392. Among all the factors studied. However.081 -.47.035 DA)6 DAP( .483 LS1 .053 . p<05).249.293* . The student population in our study consisted young adults while the faculty were slightly older. p.249* .009 .06 . approach acceptance (r=.560.134 -.01). p<. religiosity and selected personal factors among health care faculty and students belonging to four teaching hospitals. religious framework.3 DAS-Death Anxiety Scale 4 Death Attitude Profile Approach Acceptance. and escape acceptance). among all death attitudes a positive correlation emerged between approach acceptance and religiosity (r=.01 In students. 232* . Finally. Death anxiety positively correlated with death attitudes of death avoidance (r=.111 1 LS-Life satisfaction.01).071 -.136 . 05) and death attitudes of approach acceptance (r=.293.046 8* S)2 .05) and neutral acceptance (r=. satisfaction in life and attitudes towards death. 5 Fear of Death. <01) and escape . 6 Death Avoidance. approach acceptance.01).203* . Death attitudes of approach acceptance (r=.066 -.05) had positive correlations with religiosity.021 -.232. SD=. Search for meaning in life was positively associated only with death anxiety (r=. p<. p<.305.096 . p<.017 .010 DAS3 * . There was also a significant positive association between presence of meaning in life and religiosity (r=. p<. Students had experienced more recent life events than faculty.05) and escape acceptance (r=.129 .263* . Among faculty.05 **p<.01).202* -.01) showed a significant positive association with presence of meaning.223 .135 .122 .304* .001 -.389* .089 .120 . Students experienced more physical problems and substance use than faculty.031 .020 .279. death avoidance (r=. Table 2: Correlation between selected variables in Students Spearman's coefficient MLQ ML DA DAP( DAP( DAP( DAP( DAP( Religi (P) Q(S) S AA) FD) DA) NA) EA) osity acceptance (r=.022 .students (mean = 2.251.079 .106 .01) [Table 3].088 -. p<.203.560* * . neutral acceptance. p<.218. the way death affects people vary by factors such as age.347.124 -.08 -.0 . the differences did not reach significance level. Table 3 Correlation between selected variables in Faculty Spearman's coefficient ML ML DA DAP( DAP( DAP( DAP( DAP( Religi Q(P) Q(S) S AA) FD) DA) NA) EA) osity LS .305 MLQ( . meaning orientation.75.25 . 8 Escape Acceptance Discussion Death is an inevitable reality that needs to be eventually confronted by all.05) Death anxiety was observed to have positive correlations with two death attitudes namely.01) and religiosity (r=.05) and fear of death (r=.026 . p<.118 NA)7 DAP( .178. p<.088 . 6 Death Avoidance. p<. 8 Escape Acceptance * p<. 2 MLQ (P) & (S)-Meaning in life Presence & Search.05) and presence of meaning(r=.279* . p<. Though the mean for variables such as life satisfaction.042 . MLQ (P) & (S)-Meaning in life Presence & Search.187* . only neutral acceptance of death (r=. Association between death anxiety and religiosity was also positive (r=.052 .103 FD)5 DAP( -.01).448 . this study examined the relationship between five dimensions of attitudes toward death (fear of death. 3 .321 -.061 .037 -.240 3 DAS .034 .191* LS1 ** .240.236. p<.. 3 DAS-Death Anxiety Scale 4 Death Attitude Profile Approach Acceptance.218* .094 -.483.503 DAP( AA)4 * * * ** .244. 7 Neutral Acceptance.11 . correlation analysis revealed that age was significantly positively correlated with death anxiety (r=. death avoidance (r=. 5 Fear of Death.103 *.001 EA)8 1 2 LS-Life satisfaction.202. p <.163 -.01) than the faculty reflecting students' higher belief in after life and desire to experience afterlife. life satisfaction positively correlated with religiosity (r=.178 P)2 0 2 .05) and interestingly positively related with approach acceptance (r=. p<.448.05).01).00 MLQ( .21 MLQ( .14 . t =3.129 * * P)2 8* .076 * AA)4 DAP( .220 . p<.187.366.
Of all the death attitudes. The presence of meaning relates to the extent to which individuals consider their lives as meaningful.. Seen in this context. Satisfaction with life was positively related to presence of meaning in both groups and with religiosity in only student group. it can also reduce death anxiety as observed in our student population. Conversely. Analysis of relationships between all study factors in both student and faculty group showed some similar and some dissimilar findings. marital status. Faculty's search for meaning causing higher death anxiety is readily understandable given the fact that they belong to an age group which generally would have stable frame work of life and purpose. still being in pursuit of meaning can definitely increase anxiety about confronting death with a sense of incompletion. They may be continuously exploring avenues to enhance meaning in life. ( 2007 in their study of relationship between character strengths. Further. Erikson. therefore accepting death more readily than leading a meaningless painful life. religion irrespective of age enhances meaning in life. and purposeful.26] found that individuals who had personal meaning in life were more accepting of death and had less death anxiety. Lewis and Butler (1974) and Durlak (1972)[29. with time running out. those at later life stages had greater presence of meaning in their lives.Students being younger still need to explore and consolidate meaning in life as compared to faculty who are likely to have found meaning in life being comparatively older. this does not align with existing findings where older adults have more approach acceptance attitude towards death than young adults . The positive relationship between search for meaning and death avoidance is in accordance. Pollner (1989) found that participation in a divine relationship had strongest relationship with three of four measures of well-being. Stepping out of youth and treading into middle years brings into awareness the reality of old age and the inevitable wear and tear and health complications. Earlier studies in college students and adult samples have also found self-reported life meaning to be correlated positively with well-being  and specifically with life satisfaction [18. Religion probably fosters a framework of life filled with meaning. The examination of meaning orientations revealed that presence of meaning positively associated with religiosity for both students and faculty. Subsequently Gesser et al. students could have a realistic view of death without being overwhelmed. hence making life more meaningful to live. Positive relationship between presence of meaning in life and religiosity has been previously reported by some studies as well. Very similar to our findings .g. The positive association of search for meaning with negative death attitudes in faculty is quite logical. Meaning filled life cannot only make individuals accept death. well-being. limited time and grow anxious about death. a higher presence of meaning was seen to be associated with lesser death anxiety . Similar findings have been reported by Steger et al. income. Students who experienced presence of meaning in life were seen to have an attitude of neutral acceptance of death. miserable. Koenig and Larson (2001)  in a meta-analysis on religiousness reported that 80% of the studies exploring religiousness and life satisfaction found a positive relationship between the two. concerning age. exceeding in strength than other predictors of race. in one of the earliest studies. Probably. This finding is corroborated by previous research [29. Search for meaning has also been earlier found to be associated with higher levels of anxiety and rumination  and negative affect [31-33]. and church attendance. Some studies supporting our [ 26-28] also reported that individuals perceiving more meaning in life are also more accepting of death.Therefore. with previous findings which indicated that presence of meaning in life was negatively associated with death avoidance. having a coexisting belief in happy after life falls in place Among faculty age was seen to have significant positive association with death anxiety. while it negatively associated with death anxiety and positively associated with death attitude of neutral acceptance in student group alone. Katz (1979) found middle age faculty members were more afraid of death than their pre-mid. (2009) who in their internet sample of 8756 people found individuals at earlier life stages having higher levels of searching for meaning whereas. life satisfaction's positive relation to religiosity suggested that religion helped students to find greater satisfaction in life. A sense of higher guiding power can possibly put the puzzles of life in place providing a secure base. Therefore. Further.life or post mid-life colleagues.On the contrary. Presence of meaning in life made students and faculty experience satisfaction in life. A string of later researches also reveal that older and younger adults report lower levels of death anxiety than middle age adults [38-41]. viewing life as meaningful.10] In student group alone. the students in our group were more mature and philosophical with a farsighted outlook on life and death that made them view death as more acceptable on the grounds of believing in an afterlife.. Peterson et al. Traditionally. The unusual association between search for meaning and approach acceptance which has been reported so far by only study of Powell (2010) requires an explanation .Exploring nature is an important feature of developing adults as identified by developmental theorists(e. 26] where individuals achieving personal meaning in life were more accepting of death and displayed less death anxiety. there are also 4 . Pargament (1997)  reported strong connections between meaning and spirituality. Instead. it is believed that younger generally view death as a remote possibility and find it difficult to confirm to views of immorality. the finding of positive association between search for meaning and death anxiety points to the fact that the younger respondent's probable lack of experience to life situations and hardships increases feelings of uncertainties and thereby death anxiety. Studies by Hadaway (1978)  and Hunsberger (1985) suggest that religiosity and life satisfaction are positively related. wherein elderly exhibited less fear of death/dying than the middle-aged but not the young. individuals become certain of their mortality. One possible reason could be that people in search for meaning need not necessarily find their life devoid of meaning. age. Similar findings of positive association of satisfaction of life with religiosity in an Egyptian college sample have been observed  There have been several other studies which found life satisfaction to be higher in religious people. 1968). and meaning found that religiousness was one of the top four character strengths most significantly related to meaning orientation and presence of meaning. Faculty's age ranged from later stage of young adulthood to middle age. approach acceptance was more in students than the faculty reflecting higher belief in after life and desire to experience afterlife. Escape acceptance being a view of accepting death as an alternative to life filled with pain and misery can be related to being in search of meaning in the way that not yet having established a meaningful framework of life can make one feel purposeless. (1987-1988) found a curvilinear trend. Quinn and Reznikoff (1985)  in an early research also found that individuals who lacked direction and a sense of purpose in their lives experienced higher levels of death anxiety. Search for meaning in life positively correlated with death anxiety both in students and faculty and further positively correlated with positive death attitude of approach acceptance and negative death attitude of death avoidance and escape acceptance in faculty group alone. However. It is very much possible for wanting to avoid thinking about death if one still needs to find meaning in life. In students.
Such a preference for death forced out of having no other better alternatives naturally can increase death anxiety. Feifel and Branscomb (1973)  found that death anxiety was more in religious people. death anxiety. Approach acceptance is rooted in religious/spiritual beliefs in a desirable afterlife. Approach acceptance death attitude being higher in students than faculty was an unusual finding as thoughts of death and after life in young age are rare. (2009) where literal religious attitudes were positively associated with fear of death and death avoidance. Not having firmly established meaning and still being in search of it increased death anxiety in both student and faculty. religion. meaning and satisfaction in life in two groups of faculty and students. Search of meaning was only associated with negative death attitudes but also with positive death 5 . Yet. and found that it had a small but significant positive correlation with two death anxiety scales.. Research findings generally support this construct and reveal that individuals who strongly believe in an afterlife report less fear of death [44-45]. Neutral acceptance which was found to be positively associated with religiosity in faculty is also a positive attitude which portrays a view of death as an integral part of life which is neither welcomed nor resisted. and some reported no significant correlations between religiosity and death anxiety. They were the first ones to develop a new scale to measure death acceptance. For instance. The students in our study probably had extrinsic religious motivation which would have enhanced their death anxiety. Death avoidance that was found to be positively related to death anxiety in faculty is an attitude where a person avoids thinking or talking about death in order to reduce death anxiety. Though avoidance of thinking about death can be a strategy to reduce death anxiety. This finding corroborates with research done by Dezutter et al. In line with developmental theories and earlier findings. This is similar to the finding of Dezutter et al. How much ever accepting we want to be of the prospect of death. Finally. Further.g. death as a natural end of life) and negatively to negative death attitudes (e. Harding et al. (2005) reported that scales that measure Belief in God's existence and Belief in the Afterlife were both negatively correlated with death anxiety but positively correlated with death acceptance. Kubler-Ross (1997)  has also emphasized the importance of religiously based death acceptance. Donahue (1985)  reported several studies where in some reported positive correlations.43] Surprisingly in both students and faculty. Research findings have also confirmed that avoidance to talk about death increases death anxiety  and psychological distress and depression specifically in older and middle-aged adults.g. Death anxiety was lastly found to positively correlate with religiosity in students. In a relatively later study  found no correlation between religiosity and death anxiety.some studies that have found that death anxiety decreases from mid-life to old age [42. Death anxiety being correlated with approach acceptance is quite contrary to the concept of approach acceptance which stands for belief in a happy afterlife whereby.. this assumption has to be confirmed only after further careful exploration. Death anxiety can have several dimensions such as fear of dying of self and fear of death of others (Bond. Studies designed taking into consideration specific aspects of religious intentions found that people who possess intrinsic religious motivation have significantly lower levels of various types of death anxiety than people with extrinsic religious motivation [53-57]. death anxiety was positively related to death attitude of fear of death in students alone and death attitudes of death avoidance and escape acceptance in faculty. the individuals welcome the prospect of death since a life hereafter has been secured for them. (2009)  who found that individuals reporting higher levels of religiosity were more likely to endorse an Approach acceptance attitude toward death. however. is likely to increase death anxiety as revealed in the faculty group of our study. However. Supporting evidence for the way religion and positive death attitudes are related comes from Christopher et al. (1994) view that an individual who scores high on escape acceptance "can no longer effective ly cope with the pain and problems of existence". and dogmatic fashion with no room for ambiguity which could pose difficulties to cope with the uncertainty of death and dying. Faculty may have held a literal religious attitude of interpreting religious contents in a rigid. students' search for meaning was higher than faculty. In a later study. Escape acceptance is an attitude where death is welcomed as an escape from uncomfortable and unpleasant circumstances posed by death. the kind of attitude encouraged by many religious philosophies. Conclusion The present study aimed to extend previous work by adopting a multidimensional attitude towards death and examined interrelations among death attitudes. there is always a possibility for some amount of anxiety to be lurking in the mind as death of self or loved one is an inevitable reality that has to be confronted one day or the other. afterlife is more than symbolic immortality. death as a failure). death attitude of fear of death was seen to be positively related to death anxiety which is understandable given the fact that awareness of the reality of having to confront death can lead to higher death anxiety. death anxiety was seen to be positively related to death attitude of approach acceptance. Wong et al. Feifel's (1959)  early research showed that religious people reported more death anxiety. For those holding such beliefs. (2006) who found that religiosity was positively related to positive death attitudes (e. this could be a transient effect and in the long run avoidance can increase death anxiety. some reported negative correlations. In a meta-analysis of intrinsic and extrinsic religiousness. Though the common notion is that religion fosters death acceptance. However there is one earlier finding which is similar to ours by Ray and Najman (1974). because it typically associates with theistic religious faith or belief in a transcendental reality. Having a transcendental framework of life and feeling that life will continue after death helped both students and faculty accept death. Hence religion rather than being treated as an unidimensional construct needs to be viewed in terms of various orientations it can have in relation to death attitudes. Also. faculty's attitude of death avoidance was seen to be positively related to religion. Evidence exists of positive as well as negative relationships between religion and death anxiety. suggesting that religiosity may be related to belief in an afterlife. escape acceptance being a pseudo positive outlook towards death. the examination of relationship between religiosity and death attitudes showed religiosity to be positively related to approach acceptance in both students and faculty and to neutral acceptance and death avoidance in faculty alone. approach acceptance should logically reduce death anxiety and fear of death. closed-minded. Having meaning in life ensured life satisfaction in both the groups and was associated with greater religiosity and lesser death anxiety in students alone. Acknowledgment of co-existence of death anxiety and death acceptance is important because it reveals a basic ambivalent and conflicting attitude towards death. Strength of one's religious beliefs is a factor that may influence an individual's level of death anxiety. Hence. 1994)  Among students. a conscious effort to develop an attitude of death acceptance can keep a check on death anxiety preventing it from interfering with our life.
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