The purpose of this study was to determine differences in death perspectives among terminally ill and healthy adults. A second purpose was to determine the pattern of temporal variables (perceived time-left-until-death, belief in afterlife, age, and time since diagnosis) that best related to death perspectives within each group. The sample consisted of 114 terminally ill and healthy adults, matched on key variables that can influence death perspectives. Participants completed the “Personal Death Perspectives”, scale, a “Belief in Afterlife” index, and a “Perceived Distance from Death” measure in addition to providing demographic information. The two groups did not differ significantly on death perspectives; both groups indicated positive perspectives. Belief in afterlife was found to be the most significant predictor of positive death perspectives in both groups. It was suggested that research and practice involving terminally ill adults be based upon a framework that includes positive and transcendent dimensions of death.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)