Age, Intrinsic Religiosity, Meaning in Life and Attitude Toward Death

Brooke N. Lobb

 

Abstract

Three variables attributing to an individual’s attitude toward death are (1) age, (2) intrinsic religiosity, and (3) meaning in life. College students, faculty and staff from a small liberal arts college were used as a random sample and broken down into two age groups, 18-25 years of age and 25 and over. A survey was adapted from Allport’s “Intrinsic/Extrinsic Religiosity Scale”, Crumbaugh and Maholick’s “Purpose In Life Scale” and Wong, Reker and Gesser’s “Death Attitude Scale-Revised”. The significant findings of the experiment include a positive correlation between meaning in life and intrinsic religiosity (.01 significance level with r=.380). A negative correlation between intrinsic religiosity and fear of death was present on  (.01 significance level with r=-.286). Lastly, a negative correlation between age and fear of death explained that the older you are the less you fear death at a significance level (.05 with r=-.244). This has implications for addressing end of life issue in our society, which has an impact on all of us.


 

 

Age, Intrinsic Religiosity, Meaning in Life and Attitudes Toward Death

            The purpose of this present study is to determine whether or not an individual’s attitude toward death is affiliated with one’s age, intrinsic religiosity, and meaning in life. Previous research has indicated that these three variables are deeply correlated and assist in an individual’s attitude formation of death. Whether or not an individual fears death or accepts death, the variables presented in this research may or may not determine the outcome of one’s existential outlook of death.

            It is important to determine whether or not age is correlated with the strength of an individual’s intrinsic religiosity and whether or not it is co-dependent upon establishing meaning in life. While intrinsic religiosity and meaning in life are two variables that are difficult to determine, previous research has developed reliable measurement for both variables. The main initiative of this research is to determine whether or not age is a discriminate factor and the main motive of one’s development of an attitude toward death. Death is something that every human being will experience and every individual questions their meaning during at least one point in their life. It is important to confront these issues and help explain why individuals have unanswered questions about their purpose/meaning in life. By knowing what variables contribute to poor attitude formation, individuals may be given the knowledge to develop a better well-being.

            This research is aiming to explore attitude formation and conceptualization towards death. The main variables that are going to be operationalized within this experiment are: age, meaning in life and intrinsic religiosity and fear of death. The determination is to rationally explain when intrinsic religiosity becomes an important correlating variable with meaning in life within an individual and how this correlation affects an individual’s fear or acceptance of death.

            The definition of meaning in life varies and this is mainly because of the approach taken by each researcher. The most well known approach in psychology in relation to the idea of meaning in life was developed by Viktor Frankl (1946).  Frankl was a holocaust survivor who derived a psychological theory through his experience in a concentration camp, by rendering his struggle in an attempt to restore his humanity and heal his damaged psyche. While in the concentration camp, he managed a position of relative security by practicing as a doctor in the mental health hospital of the so-called Public Health department (Pytell 2007). Frankl lost nearly his entire family and experienced inhumanity for a solid six weeks.  His work and theory known as Logotherapy has become an assurance for the human race reinstating that all human beings have a will to meaning and that they have the need for meaning in life.  In the book, Man’s Search for Meaning (1946), Frankl attempts to explain the mastery of trauma, the restoration of dignity and the reconstruction of one’s psyche (Pytell 2007). Man’s Search For Meaning was dictated in 9 days after the war and is characterized by a mix of reprieve and anxiety of being spared, the pain of loss, and a psychological need to find a suitable version of survival to go on with life (Pytell 2007). Frankl’s spiritual/existential theory and therapeutic model of Logotherapy explains that each of life’s situations contains meaning, but it has to be discovered and determined by each individual; in Frankl’s case, through spiritual transcendence and finding meaning. According to Frankl, meaning in life cannot be given, but can be discovered by the will of one’s consciousness and through attitude adjustment one can find meaning even in suffering.  

            In addition, in another one of Viktor Frankl’s books, titled Man’s Search For Ultimate Meaning, Frankl claims that there is a religious sense deeply rooted in each and every man’s unconscious depths:  an “Unconscious God.”  He explains that the “Unconscious God” is profoundly personalized and dependent upon what each individual defines as religion. Frankl, unlike Carl Jung, states that the ‘unconscious God” is a deciding being, rather than an instinctual characteristic. Frankl theoretically explains that unconscious religiousness stems from the personal center of the individual rather than archetypes (Frankl. 2000 p. 72). Frankl also notes that while a weak faith is weakened with predicaments and catastrophes, a strong faith strengthens (Frankl. 2000 p. 19).

 Farran and Kuhn (1998) summed up four fundamental steps of Frankl’s writings. First, Personal Values represent a basis for an individual’s meaning in life. These values can be expressed in different ways, for example through faith.  Second, meaning can be created through decisions that are made by the individual. Third, individuals are responsible for the decisions that they make are the actions that they do.  Fourth, meaning in life can be found in different levels, provisional and ultimate. For instance, provisional meaning can be discovered in small, daily experiences, while ultimate meaning is associated with a deeper life experiences CITATION Ann00 \l 1033  (Auhagen, 2000).

            Reker and Wong have made a different suggestion towards explaining meaning of life (Wong 1998). They see meaning of life as an individual construct and interpretation on the part of every human being  CITATION GTR88 \l 1033 (Wong, 1988). This includes beliefs, schemas and making rational sense out of life situations. The motivational component of the meaning of life construct refers to the personal system of value  CITATION Ann00 \l 1033 (Auhagen, 2000). It includes goal striving, purpose and incentive values. The most affected component in their model includes the gaining of satisfaction or feeling fulfilled. Reker and Wong suggested the following explanation for their model: “Personal meaning may be defined as the cognizance of order, coherence and purpose in one’s existence, the pursuit and attainment of worthwhile goals, and an accompanying sense of fulfillment.”

            Religion’s ability to give meaning to an individual’s life has been supported previously. Molcar and Stuempfig (1988) found that people who believe in God see a greater personal purpose in life when measured with the “Purpose In Life Scale” (Crumbaugh and Maholick, 1964). On the other hand, people who could discover no sense of meaning in their lives appear to have a greater fear of death (Westman and Canter, 1985). A number of studies have confirmed a positive relationship between religious belief and psychological well-being, whereas others have not  CITATION Ann00 \l 1033 (Auhagen, 2000). Because of the difference in results, researchers by the name of Batson and Ventis (1982), found a reason for the contradiction by using the concept of intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity.

            This idea goes back to Gordon Allport (1950) and describes the idea of two fundamentally different religious orientations. Intrinsic religiosity is when an individual with this orientation finds their main motive in religion. Other needs seem of less significance and by embracing a creed, the individual aims to internalize it and follow it fully CITATION Ric85 \l 1033  (Kahoe R. D., 1985). This will be one variable measured while doing this research. A meta-analysis done by Batson and Ventis (1982) found that the religiousness and well-being were only related positively within people with intrinsic religious orientation.

Several studies have found that the individuals that are more religious tend to have a lower death anxiety, while others have found the opposite effect. For example, Feifal (1959) found that those with religious beliefs had more fear of death than that the nonreligious, but Christ (1961) found no relationship between religiosity and fear of death. Swenson (1961) however, found that the individuals with greater religious activity and more fundamental religious beliefs had less fear of death. What this research aims to determine is whether or not Gordon Allport’s hypotheses about the development of intrinsic and extrinsic religiousness is correlated with meaning in life and fear of death.

            The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not an individual’s fear of death is less if one has meaning in life, is older and has intrinsic religiosity. The main variable for fearing death less in a younger age group is meaning in life, which is not determined by intrinsic religiosity. The hypotheses being made within this study state that age may be a precursor to meaning in life, but not necessarily intrinsic religiosity. It may be that the older you are the more likely you are to have adopted religion into your lifestyle because of cultural or societal reasons. The older individual may place more emphasis on the importance of religious orientation and that may be a possible rationale for one to fear death less at an older age. It may be because the older individual has more feelings of accomplishment or fulfillment. In a younger age group, individuals may have meaning in life, which is not necessarily motivated by intrinsic religiosity. Predictions have been made that the younger age group will display meaning in life, but not a significant level of intrinsic religiosity in comparison with the older age group. Fear of death within the individual may be more or less because of the lack of emphasis of either variable: meaning in life or intrinsic religiosity. Essentially, the question that this research is aiming to answer is whether or not age determines the development of meaning in life. It is aiming to determine which age population is most likely to have a deeper intrinsic religiosity, whether or not it is co-dependent with meaning in life and how it effects the individual’s attitude formation about death. The goal of this study is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of these variables and identify their role in the attitude formation and fear of death.

Method

Participants

            A randomized sample of 96 people was given an anonymous survey on a small Midwestern university. The sample was broken down into two age groups; Group 1: 18-25 year old and Group 2: 26 year old and on. Of the sample, 46 were male (47.9%) and 49 were female (51%). The participants between the ages of 18 and 25 consisted of 63 people (65.6%) and the older age group consisted of 33 participants (34.4%). The age standard deviation was .477 and the mean was 1.348. During the research non-response bias was a large factor in having even age groups because out of the 90 surveys distributed to the full-time faculty employees, data was only collected from about 30 participants (33%). A majority of the faculty did not respond or return the survey.

Testing Materials

            A survey was adapted from three other scales, with the addition of demographics and gender. The first scale used to develop the survey was “The Purpose in Life Scale” is the first and most well-known questionnaire used to attempt to measure meaning in life. It was developed during the 1960s (Crumbaugh and Maholick, 1964). The two authors developed the test in an effort to psychometrically measure meaning in life based on Viktor Frankl’s concept. The test consists of 20 questions that are answered on a Likert Scale by indicating personal agreement or disagreement  CITATION Ann00 \l 1033 (Auhagen, 2000).  The PIL scale differs from other scales used because it does not measure a particular trait. It attempts to measure the degree to which an individual perceives himself or herself to find meaning in his or her life. High scores indicated the presence of purpose whereas low scores indicate the presence of the “existential vacuum” (Thompson, 2003). In addition, the psychometric properties of the PIL represent a split half reliability of up to .90 and test-retest coefficients between .83 and .68 (Chamberlain and Zika, 1988).

The other scales include “The Death Attitude Profile-Revised” (Wong, Reker, Gesser, 1994) and the “Religious Orientation Scale” (Allport, Ross, 1967). “The Death Attitude Profile-Revised” is a measurement with a number of statements related to different attitudes towards death that have five categorical dimensions; (a) Fear of Death, involving fear of death evoked by confrontations with death (b) Death Avoidance, involving avoidance of thinking or talking about death in order to reduce anxiety), (c) Neutral Acceptance, involving the view that death is an integral part of life, (d) Approach Acceptance, a positive outlook on death rooted in the belief in a happy afterlife  and (e) Escape Acceptance, where death is a welcome alternative to a life full of pain and misery. Scores for all items are recorded on a 1-7 Likert Scale in the direction of strongly disagree to strongly agree. Allport and Ross (1967) designed a “Religious Orientation Scale” which incorporated a 9-item intrinsic subscale with items like “My religious beliefs are what really lie behind my whole approach to life,” and an 11-item extrinsic subscale with items like, “The purpose of prayer is to secure a happy and peaceful life.” The 9-item intrinsic subscale was the only religious orientation scale used within the survey. A response to each item was recorded on a 1-7 Likert Scale CITATION Ric74 \l 1033  (Kahoe R. D., 1974). 

Procedures

Before distributing the survey, the Institutional Review Board approved the research to be conducted. In addition, the survey was field tested on about 30 participants an attempt to make the survey more valid and reliable. The revised closed-ended survey was distributed to a randomized sample in classrooms ranging from music classes, statistics classes and upper psychology classes, as well as in approximately 90 faculty mailboxes. The faculty was to return the survey to the faculty secretary to put in a folder for the researcher to pick up. Many faculty members did not participate in the survey (67%), which affected the results of the study since age was an important variable in this study. All surveys were anonymous and every participant had the freedom to withdrawal or refuse to answer particular questions that they may have thought to be threatening. Debriefing and contact information of the researcher was given in the disclaimer at the beginning of the survey. There was no problem with non-response bias within the younger age group, but non-response bias was experienced within the older age group.

Results

Meaning in Life

            Composite scores for the “Purpose In Life Scale” by Crumbaugh and Maholick, which was used to measure the variable meaning in life, was computed by calculating the mean of 8 questions; scores could range from 1 to 7. For Group 1, N=33, M=44.3016 with a standard deviation of 5.84928. For Group 2, N=63 M=45.1515 with a standard deviation of 5.70154. A one- tailed independent t-test analysis indicated no significant difference in the age of an individual and their level of meaning in life, t (94) = -.682, p = .2485. In a correlation matrix a significant positive correlation between meaning in life and intrinsic religiosity was present, p=.380 with a level of .01 significance. These results indicate that the higher an individual scores on the “Purpose In Life Scale,” which measures meaning in life, the more intrinsic religiosity is present within the individual. See Table C.

Fear of Death

            Scores on the “Death Anxiety Profile-Revised” were calculated by taking the mean of 13 questions, ranging on a scale from 1 to 7.  A one-tailed independent t-test analysis compared the means of Group 1 (N=63, M=48.7742, SD = 1.34058) and Group 2 (N=33, M=43.2759, SD = 1.80441) and determined a significant difference between the comparison of scores of Group 1 and Group 2. Group 2 (M=43.2759) indicated to fear death less than that of Group 1, t (89) = 2.373, p=.01. In addition, correlations were ran and a significant negative correlation was present between Group 2 and fear of death, p=.-244 with a significance p > .05. Results indicated that the older and individual gets, the less they fear death. See Table C.

Age and Intrinsic Religiosity

            The scores on the “Intrinsic Religiousness Orientation” scale were calculated by gathering the mean of 9 questions on a 1 to 7 scale. An independent samples t-test analysis comparing means of Group 1 (N=63, M=40.5079, SD = 40.5079) and Group 2 (N=33, M=42.5938, SD = 13.41126) indicated that age did not significantly affect one’s intrinsic religiosity, t (93) =-.670, p =.504. A significant negative correlation was indicated in a correlation matrix between intrinsic religiosity and an individual’s fear of death, p = -.286 with significance p > .05 These results explain that the more intrinsic religiosity an individual describes as having, the less they tend to fear death. See Table C.

Tables and Charts

 Table A:

 Frequency Statistics of Age 

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Group 1

63

65.6

65.6

65.6

 

Group 2
 

33

34.4

34.4

100.0

 

Total
 

96

100.0

100.0

 

 

Chart A:

Percentages Based on Age Groups

 

 

Table B:

 Descriptive Statistics of Gender  

 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

.00

1

1.0

1.0

1.0

 

MALE

46

47.9

47.9

49.0

 

FEMALE

49

51.0

51.0

100.0

 

Total

96

100.0

100.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chart B:

 Percentages Based on Gender

 

 

 

 

Chart C:

Distribution of Variable Means for Group 1

Chart D:

 Distribution of Variable Means For Group 2

Chart E:                

Variation in Standard Deviations for Group 1

Chart F:

 Variation in Standard Deviations for Group 2

Table C:

Correlation Matrix

 

 

Meaning In Life (PIL)

Fear of Death (DAS-R)

Intrinsic Religiosity (IRO)

AGE

PILTOT

Pearson Correlation

1

-.114

.380(**)

.070

 

Sig. (2-tailed)
 

 

.282

.000

.497

 

N
 

96

91

95

96

DASTOT

Pearson Correlation

-.114

1

-.286(**)

-.244(*)

 

Sig. (2-tailed)
 

.282

 

.006

.020

 

N
 

91

91

90

91

IROTOT

Pearson Correlation

.380(**)

-.286(**)

1

.069

 

Sig. (2-tailed)
 

.000

.006

 

.504

 

N
 

95

90

95

95

AGE

Pearson Correlation

.070

-.244(*)

.069

1

 

Sig. (2-tailed)
 

.497

.020

.504

 

 

N
 

96

91

95

96

**  Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

*  Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

 

Discussion

            Taken into consideration that the sample population of this study may have not been as randomized and representative, it is evident through collected data that meaning in life is correlated with intrinsic religiosity. The more intrinsic religiosity an individual has the more meaning they find in life. One could conclude that an individual’s intrinsic religiousness orientation has a direct relationship with how much an individual fears or accepts death. The more intrinsically religious the individual is the less they fear death, and it is logical that they have a more meaningful outlook on life. While the sample is not completely representative, the data implied the idea that a negative attitude toward death is correlated with the age of the individual. It can be noted that according to the current research within this study, the older an individual is, the more intrinsically religious they are, which relates to an increased level of meaning in life. While most of the hypotheses were co-dependent upon age, the data did not have an evenly distributed age group, which had an effect on the results and the evidence supporting previous hypotheses. For instance, the first hypothesis was that meaning in life is not correlated with intrinsic religiousness within a younger age group. This hypothesis was not supported directly because age was not a dominant factor. It was found that meaning in life and intrinsic religious orientations have a significant relationship. Whether or not that is age-related is not known.

The second hypothesis was that meaning in life is the main variable in fearing death. Data indicated that meaning in life is co-dependent with intrinsic orientation, so without either one, the individual would be more likely to fear death.

 The third hypothesis was supported. In an older age group, meaning in life is more strongly correlated with intrinsic religiosity.

The last hypothesis was that the younger you are the more you will fear death and this was also supported with a significant negative correlation, which indicated that the older the individual is the less likely they are to fear death.

            While age may not have been a dominant factor within this study, it is apparent that there was significance between all of the variables within this study that were operationalized. The main problem with this research is that there was an uneven age distribution. The researcher originally indicated that the older age group would be comprised of full-time faculty, but very few full-time faculty responded to the survey. When replicating this research, it would be recommended to avoid this limitation by having a more representative sample, which would yield results that were more age defined. The main implication for this study was non-response bias, which may have been because of the topic of the survey or that some of the participants felt that the survey was not confidential. The researcher tried to avoid this limitation by indicating that the survey was confidential and time constraints may have also limited the response and future research could address this issue.

            When looking at previous research the results concluded that age is an important factor in an individual’s attitude conceptualization towards death, but this particular research experiment was not successful in determining at what age the individual begins to fear death lessl, or what variables are responsible for the change in attitude toward death. While not all of the hypotheses were supported, results did indicate that there is significance between all of the variables presented in the study and with further and deeper investigation, there could be potential for determining the effects of age on attitude formation and conceptualization. Conclusions are related to previous studies, which have indicated a significance between variables currently studied within this experiment.

            This data contributes to the understanding of an individual’s development. It is important because if individuals can become aware of what they personally need to do in order to achieve a sense of neutrality or acceptance of death they will be able to avoid the internal conflicts that most individual’s have when facing the inevitable experience of death.

 

 

References

Allport. Gordon, W. (1967). Personal Religious Orientation and Prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , Vol 5. No 4. 432-443.

Auhagen, Ann. Elisabeth. (2000). On the Psychology of Meaning of Life. Swiss J Psychol .34-48

Batson, C.D., Ventis, W.L. (1982). The Religious Experience. New York: Oxford.

Chamberlain, K., Zika, S. (1988). Measuring Meaning In Life: An Examination of Three Scales. Journal of Individual Differences , Vol 9. 589-596.

Christ, Adolph. (1961). Attitudes Toward Death Among a Group of Acute Geriatric Patients. Journal of Gerontology ,Vol 16, 56-59.

Crumbaugh, J.C., Maholick, L. (1964). An Experimental Study in Existentialism: The Psychometric Approach to Frankl's Concept of Noogenic Neurosis. Journal of Clinical Psychology , Vol 20, 200-207.

Feifel, Herman. (1959). Attitudes Toward Death in Some Normal and Mentally Ill Populations. The Meaning of Death. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Frankl, Viktor. E. (1946). Man's Search For Meaning. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Frankl, Viktor. E. (2000). Man's Search For Ultimate Meaning. New York: Basic Books.

Kahoe, Richard. D. (1974). Personality and Acheivement Correlates of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Religious Orientations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , Vol 29. No 6. 812-818.

Kahoe, Richard. D. (1985). The Development of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Religious Orientations. Journal For The Scientific Study of Religion ,Vol 24. No 4. 408-412.

Farran, C.J., Kuhn, D.R., (1998). Finding Meaning Through Caring For Persons With Alzheimer's Disease: Assessment and Intervention. In P.T.P Wong and P.S. Fry (Eds.) A Handbook of Psychological Research and Clinical Applications. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 335-359.

Molcar, C.C., Stuempfig, D.W. (1988). Effect of World View on Purpose in Life. The Journal of Psychology , Vol 122, 365-371.

Pytell, Timothy. (2007). Extreme Experience, Psychological Insight, and Holocaust Perception. Pyschoanalytic Psychology Vol 24 , 641-657.

Swenson, Wendell, M (1961). Attitudes Toward Death in an Aged Population. Journal of Gerontology , Vol 16. 49-52.

Thompson, Nancy. (2003). Purpose in Life as a Mediator of Adjustment After Spinal Cord Injury. Psychological Aspects of Disability , Vol 48, 100-108.

Reker, G.T., Wong, P.T.P. (1988). Aging As An Individual Process: Toward A Theroy of Personal Meaning. New York: Springer.

Westman A.S., Canter, A. W. (1985). Fear of Death and the Concept of Extended Self. Psychological Reports , 419-425.

Wong, P.T.P (1994). Death Attitude Profile-Revised: A Multidementional Measure of Attitudes Toward Death. Washington D.C. : Taylor and Francis.

 

Appendix

Appendix A: Sample Survey

 

Participant Survey

 

Thank you for your participation in the survey. Participation is on a voluntary basis and you must be 18 years old to participate. You have the freedom to withdraw at any time during the survey and you will not be penalized for not participating. It is a completely voluntary choice. The information provided is anonymous and confidential. The study is being done to complete an Experimental Psychology undergraduate course.  If you should have any further questions do not hesitate to contact me, Brooke Lobb at bnlobb@mckendree.edu or Dr. Bosse, 537-6882 or at mbosse@mckendree.edu. If you feel any discomfort while taking this survey please feel free to contact the school psychologist Robert Clipper at 537-6502.

             Age:  Circle One

 

18-19       20-25        26-32       33-45        46-50        over 50       

 

1.      Gender: Circle One

Male                            Female

2.      Life seems to me

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                     7

Completely routine                                                                                                                                Always Exciting

 

3.      In life I have

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                     7

No goals or aims at all                                                                                                          Very Clear Goals and Aims

 

4.      If I could choose, I would

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7

Prefer to have never been born                                                                                     Live 9 lives just like this one

 

5.      In achieving goals I have

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7

Made no progress whatsoever                                                                         Progressed to complete fulfillment

 

6.      If I should die today, I would feel that my life has been:

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7

Completely worthless                                                                                                                         Very Worthwhile

 

7.      In thinking of my life I

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                     7

Often wonder why I exist                                                                                                              Always see a reason

 

8.      I have discovered

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7                   No mission in life                                                                                                Clear cut goals and a satisfying purpose

     10. I regard my ability to find a meaning, purpose or mission in life as

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                     7

Practically none                                                                                                                                                Very great

 

For each of the following items, indicate whether you strongly agree, partially agree, or strongly disagree by circling the appropriate number as follows

          1                              2                    3                      4                  5                      6                     7

Strongly Disagree                                                         Partially Agree                                                            Strongly Agree

 

11.  Death is no doubt a grim experience

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7                                            

        12. The prospects of my own death arouses anxiety within me

            1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7   

       13.  I am disturbed by the finality of my death

            1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                     7

       14.  Death is an entrance to a place of ultimate satisfaction

            1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                     7                      

         15. I would never fear death nor welcome it

            1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                     7

      

 16. I always try not to think about death

            1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                     7

        17. The fact that death will mean the end of everything frightens me

            1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                     7

     

For each of the following items, indicate whether you strongly agree, partially agree, or strongly disagree by circling the appropriate number as follows

          1                              2                    3                      4                  5                      6                     7

Strongly Disagree                                                         Partially Agree                                                            Strongly Agree

 

      18.  Death will bring an end to all my troubles

            1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                     7

      19. Death should be viewed as a natural, undeniable, and unavoidable event

            1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                     7

      20.  I have an intense fear of death

            1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                    7

      21. Death is neither good nor bad

            1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                    7

      22. The uncertainty of not knowing what happens after death worries me

            1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                     7                   

      23. Death is simply a part of the process of life

            1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                     7

      24. I try hard to carry religion over to all other dealings in life

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7

      25. What I believe does not matter as long as I lead a normal life

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7

      26. I have often been keenly aware of the presence of a divine being

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7

      27. My religious beliefs lie behind my whole approach to life

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7

   

For each of the following items, indicate whether you strongly agree, partially agree, or strongly disagree by circling the appropriate number as follows

          1                              2                    3                      4                  5                      6                     7

Strongly Disagree                                                         Partially Agree                                                            Strongly Agree

 

      28.  Prayers said alone are as meaningful as when said during service

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7               

       29. If not prevented by circumstances, I attend church once a week

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7

       30. Religion is important for answering questions about life’s meaning

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7

       31. I read literature about my faith

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7

       32. Private religious thought and meditation is important to me

1                      2                      3                      4                      5                      6                      7

 

**Thank you for your participation. If you have any further questions about the focus of this study, or questions concerning the results, please feel free to contact me, Brooke Lobb at bnlobb@mckendree.edu or Dr. Bosse, 618-537-6882 or mbosse@mckendree.edu. If you feel any discomfort while taking this survey please feel free to contact the school psychologist Robert Clipper at 537-6502.

 

Survey adapted from Purpose In Life Scale by Crumbaugh and Maholick in 1969, The Death Attitude Scale Revised by Wong, Recker, and Gesser in 1994 and The Intrinsic Religious Orientation Scale by Allport and Ross in 1967