ERIC Number: EJ1162457
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
You Are Alive Right Now: An Experimental Exploration of the Interplay between Existential Salience, Mental Health, and Death Anxiety
Pashak, Travis J.; Oswald, Samuel R.; Justice, Michelle D.; Seely, Laura T.; Burns, Brittany R.; Shepherd, Sarah J.
College Student Journal, v51 n4 p451-462 Win 2017
Terror management theory (TMT) places death anxiety in an explanatory role in cognition, affect, and behavior, spanning mental health to cultural trends. We aimed to connect TMT to trait death anxiety, and propose an additional component: "life acknowledgement" (life awareness, lived experience connection, liveliness engagement) which yields "vitality salience" when conscious. Participants (n = 156) were randomized to mortality, neutral, or vitality salience conditions, and completed assessments of self-esteem, generalized anxiety, and death anxiety (death and dying separately). Results indicated that death anxiety was independent of demographic factors; that death anxiety was correlated with generalized anxiety (r = 0.18 and r = 0.32) and self-esteem (r = -0.35 and r = -0.38); and that salience groups did not differ on the outcome measures. We concluded that existential salience priming operates separately from trait self-report. Findings supported trends in current literature, and prompted further questions regarding TMT and vitality salience.
Descriptors: College Students, Student Attitudes, Death, Anxiety, Personality Traits, Self Esteem, Correlation, Priming, Hypothesis Testing, Attitude Measures, Fear, Multivariate Analysis, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Fear Survey Schedule
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A