Religious Orientation, Death Anxiety, Locus of Control and Belief in Punishment After Death

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Evidence is cited in this paper which suggests religion is gaining in influence on American life. Although interest in religiosity is increasing, mental health research into the area is meager. As psychological researchers grow cognizant of the impact of social systems on the individual, it becomes important to examine the impact of religion and religious belief on the emotional health of the individual. The literature also suggests that attitudes toward death and the individual's perception of power/helplessness, which are elements closely associated with religious belief, are also important factors in determining one's state of psychological well-being. This study is an ... continued below

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iv, 69 leaves

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Lofton, Debra Ann December 1984.

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  • Lofton, Debra Ann

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Description

Evidence is cited in this paper which suggests religion is gaining in influence on American life. Although interest in religiosity is increasing, mental health research into the area is meager. As psychological researchers grow cognizant of the impact of social systems on the individual, it becomes important to examine the impact of religion and religious belief on the emotional health of the individual. The literature also suggests that attitudes toward death and the individual's perception of power/helplessness, which are elements closely associated with religious belief, are also important factors in determining one's state of psychological well-being. This study is an attempt to look more closely at the role of religion, attitudes toward death, and perception of power/helplessness in a psychiatric population as compared to a nonpsychiatric population. The major variable under consideration, religious orientation, was measured with the Intrinsic-Extrinsic Religious Orientation Inventory which measures the nature of one's involvement with religion. The individual with an intrinsic orientation toward religion is believed to exhibit a healthier adjustment than the individual with an extrinsic orientation toward religion. It was hypothesized that healthier religious adjustment would be related to lower death anxiety, as measured by the Death Anxiety Scale, and lower locus of control scores, as measured by the Internal-External Locus of Control Scale. Further, it was assumed that whether or not one's religious belief system includes a belief in punishment after death would exert some influence on death anxiety. The information obtained in this study suggests that the most important factor of concern to psychiatric patients in the area of religious orientation and death anxiety is belief in punishment after death and its relationship to locus of control. Death anxiety was greatest in psychiatric patients who believed in punishment after death. Overall subjects who believed in punishment after death tended to exhibit higher external locus of control scores. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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iv, 69 leaves

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  • December 1984

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  • Aug. 22, 2014, 6 p.m.

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  • Jan. 9, 2018, 11:08 a.m.

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Lofton, Debra Ann. Religious Orientation, Death Anxiety, Locus of Control and Belief in Punishment After Death, dissertation, December 1984; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc330850/: accessed October 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .