Spirituality can refers to
an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person
to discover the essence of their being; or the “deepest values and meanings by
which people live.” Humans face the reality of death. Some people are more
anxious about death than other are. The paper examines the effect of
spirituality and gender on death anxiety. The sample consisted of 100 subjects,50
highly spiritual (25 Male and 25Female) and 50 low spiritual (25Male and 25Female)
subjects were selected with the help of spirituality scale. After that the
level of the death anxiety was measured. For the analysis Mean, S.D and ANOVA was
used. . Findings of the study revealed
that Spirituality affects significantly death anxiety but gender difference
were not found.
Key words: Spirituality and Death Anxiety.
Every human being face the reality of
death. Some people are more anxious about death than others are. Death is
part and parcel of human life. It is not an accident but a reality associated
with life so that the history of human thought cites the eternal fusion of life
and death. Life and death are predominant forces determining the behaviour of
the living creatures for survival. Death
anxiety is a unique characteristic of human beings because they are the only
creatures considering the inevitability of death. Death anxiety is a concept
used to refer to the apprehension felt about death awareness . Richardson,Berman
and Piwowarski(1983) defined death anxiety as a negative feeling a person experiences
about death and dying. One factor that may influence an individual’s level of
death anxiety is the strength of one’s religious
belief(Leming,1979-1980;Richardson et al.).
can refers to an ultimate or an alleged
immaterial reality ;an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being; or the ” deepest values and meaning by which people live.” Spirituality brings about peace
and comfort, guarantees individuals’ safety, fills ethical, emotional and spiritual
gaps in the individual and society, and provides us with a barrier against
problems and deprivations. Traditionally ,many religion have regarded
spirituality as an integral aspect of religious experiences. Whilst the terms
spirituality and religion both relate to search for an Absolute or God, and
thus have much overlap ,there are also characteristics difference in their
usage. Religion implies a particular faith tradition that includes acceptance
of a metaphysical or supernatural reality; whereas spirituality is not
necessarily bound to an any particular
religious tradition. Thus William Irwin Thompson suggest that “religion is the
form spirituality takes civilization.” In a meta-analysis of intrinsic and
extrinsic religiousness, Donahue (1985) reviewed several studies that investigated
the relationship between religiosity and death anxiety . Some studies reported
a positive correlations, some described a negative correlations and some
reported no significant correlations . Several studies showed that individuals
with strong inner religious beliefs experience lower levels of death anxiety .
Generally, establishing a spiritual relation ensures the individual that a
strong power always supports them. Religious people withstand the calamities and sorrows more
easily and suffer from less anxiety.
Purpose: To study the effect of spirituality and gender on death
Hypothesis:-1.There will be no significant effect of spirituality
2.There will be no significant effect of gender
on death anxiety.
3.There will be no significant
interaction effect between
spirituality and gender on death
spirituality scale was administered on 200 subjects. Out of
which 100 subjects were selected for this study. The
selected subjects were divided into two equal sub groups according to
spirituality level. There were 50 High Spiritual (25 male and 25female) and 50
Low Spiritual (25 male and 25female) .
Tools:-The following tests were used in this study.
scale constructed by Prof. S.N.Rai(2006).
Anxiety scale constructed by Gridhar Thakur
and Manju Thakur(1984).
Above two measures are reliable and valid
measures. Scoring procedure and norms are given in the manual of the tests.
Statistical Analysis:-The obtained score data were analyzed by
using Mean, S.D and ANOVA .
The obtained data after tabulation were
statistically analyzed with the help of Mean, S.D and Analysis of Variance
(ANOVA) . The obtained data result are interpreted and shown in the following
tables. ANOVA is shown in table -1; Mean scores are shown in table -2 and S.D
also shown in table-3.
Summary of (2×2) ANOVA for
Death Anxiety scores (N=100)
**Denotes significant at 0.01 level of confidence
Table-2: Mean scores of Death Anxiety
Levels of Variables
Table-3: S.D Value of Death Anxiety
The purpose of the present research was to study the effect of spirituality and
gender on death anxiety. The obtained results have shown very interesting
effect of spirituality and gender on death anxiety. In this study first
independent variable was spirituality
is designated as factor “A” and second independent variable was gender designated
as factor “B”. Factor A has two
levels High Spiritual and Low spiritual,
and factor B also has two levels male
and female. A close look of ANOVA table-1
clearly reveals that F value of factor A is 2624.87 that exceed the critical
value at 0.01 levels. This significant F ratio indicates that spirituality significantly
affects the death anxiety of the subjects .The mean values of death anxiety scores of High Spiritual is 18.94 and
Low Spiritual is 64.26. .Which reveals the fact that Low levels of
spirituality shows higher death anxiety and highly spiritual individuals show a
lower death anxiety.
Now the question arise why spiritual
individuals have low death anxiety. The suggestive answer is that spirituality
as one dimension of the cognitive, emotional, behavioral, interpersonal and
psychological facets that make up a human being. This result is similar to
results by clements(1998),who reported that person with intrinsic religious
motivation show significantly lower levels of various types of anxiety those
with extrinsic religious motivation do. The result of present study is also
supported to those of researchers who
argued that spirituality correlated with low fear of death(Clements;Kraft et. al.,2001;Martin
& Wrightsman ,1965; Minear & Brush,1980-1981;Richarddson et al.,1983;Sushail
& Akram ,2002;Templer, 1972;Wen et al.,2010).On the contrary this result
from Templer and Dotson (1970),who found that religious variable do not relate
to death anxiety.
look of ANOVA table-1 clearly reveals
that F value of factor B is 3.08 is
non-significant. Gender showed no effect on death anxiety. This result of study
is similar to report by Abdel–Khalek (2002),also detected no
gender difference among college students. Wu, Tang, and
Kwok’s (2002) also found in study on
Chinese elderly people in Hong Kong found that gender does not affect death
anxiety. Being male or female does not increase or decrease one’s death anxiety
and Fortner and Neimeyer (1999) conducted a review on 49 studies about death
anxiety and concluded that gender does not seem to predict death anxiety in
elderly people. But this result differ
from those obtained in previous
research, indicating females
attained higher mean death anxiety scores than males did (Abdel
–khalek ,& Omar 1988; Abdel- Khalek, 1991;Tang et al.,2002). On
the other hand ,There are many arguments as to why death anxiety is higher in
women. A reason behind it (Schumaker, Barraclough,
and Vagg ,1988), most societies, men are encouraged to pursue success and
attain accomplishments which would cultivate the illusion of immortality while
women are not.
F value for AxB is 0.37 is non
-significant. This non-significant F ratio indicates that death anxiety is not affected by an interaction effect of
spirituality and gender.
In the light of the findings it is
concluded that High Spiritual individuals have the low death anxiety, while low
spiritual individual have more anxious about death .Gender showed no effect on death anxiety. In
summary, spiritual beliefs and
practices provide an interpretation of the dying process
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