Gratitude lessens death anxiety

Wing Lam Rosanna LAU, Sheung-Tak CHENG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated whether a brief gratitude induction could reduce death anxiety. 83 Chinese older adults (mean age = 62.7, SD = 7.13) were randomly assigned into one of three conditions: gratitude, hassle, and neutral, in which they wrote different types of life events before responding to measures of death anxiety and affect. Participants in the gratitude induction reported lower death anxiety than the hassle and the neutral condition, whereas no difference was observed for the latter two conditions. There was no experimental effect on positive affect, and a significant effect on negative affect but which did not favor the gratitude condition. By reexamining life events with a thankful attitude, people may become less fearful of death due to a sense that life has been well-lived. Because gratitude can be induced using a very brief procedure, there are broad applications in clinical and health-care settings for the relief of death anxiety. Copyright © 2011 Springer-Verlag.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-175
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

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Anxiety
anxiety
death
induction
event
health care
Delivery of Health Care

Bibliographical note

Lau, R. W. L., & Cheng, S.-T. (2011). Gratitude lessens death anxiety. European Journal of Ageing, 8(3), 169-175.

Keywords

  • Gratitude
  • Death anxiety
  • Positive affect
  • Negative affect
  • Chinese older adults