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Table of contents

And the words of six items were discussed and modified until all five professionals agreed it clear. Please think about your feelings and physiological reactions to death and dying in the past month, consider how well each statement relates to you, and indicate your answer from 1 Strongly disagree to 5 Strongly agree. No misunderstanding of the statements was indicated. First, the study procedure was explained to participants to make sure all of them understood. Then, written and oral informed consent was obtained from all participants.

For participants under 18 years old, we obtained written informed consent from their parents or guardians first. Second, participants completed a item pilot questionnaire about death anxiety and some demographic questions. We also complied with the ethical standards in the treatment of human subjects. First, item-total statistics were used to test whether all items were consistent with the scale. Inconsistent items were removed based on the results. Third, a series of principle components analysis PCA was used to explore the latent structure of the death anxiety item set and item reduction using SPSS A promax rotation Kappa value of 4 method was chose due to the nature of the items Fabrigar et al.


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There were no missing data. Using an eigenvalue greater than 1, PCA identified nine factors with a cumulative extraction sums of squared loadings of Those three factors were dropped from the solution. According to the criteria for items reduction, two items were removed because their coefficients were below 0.

Following this process, 25 items were retained. Using the same process, we repeated the factor analysis three more times to explore the best fitting latent structure of death anxiety and to reduce the questionnaire length. In the first round, two items were removed because of one coefficient below 0. Ultimately, four factors remained with 17 items, and the cumulative extraction sums of squared loadings was The remaining four factors all contained at least three items, and the loading of each item was more than 0.


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The items of the original Chinese form are in Appendix. Confirmatory factor analysis in Study 2, and rotated promax factor loadings in Study 1 with principal component analysis. These four factors were consistent with the original definition of death anxiety. Before data collection with a new sample, a confirmatory factor analysis CFA with maximum likelihood method was run with the current sample to further explore the strength of the proposed four-factor structure model with 17 items.

Following an appropriate process, Study 1 resulted in a item scale with four factors. The proposed model measured somatic dysphoria, which was not present in previous death anxiety instruments, as well as emotional i. However, this four-factor structure of death anxiety was based on one sample.

What makes you afraid?

Therefore, Study 2 was conducted to re-test and confirm the factor structure in a replication sample. To confirm the four-factor structure and test the validity and reliability of the item SDA, Study 2 collected new data from a replication sample. A CFA was conducted to test the four-factor model of death anxiety. Furthermore, sample studies indicate a positive relationship between death anxiety and general anxiety or depression Abdel-Khalek, , and greater impacts of stressful events such as illness, experiences with death and dying, unpredictable environments, and so on see Lehto and Stein, for a review , but a negative relationship between death anxiety and subjective well-being e.

A sample of participants from high schools and universities in the north of China i. The education level of the sample was as follows: college, 87 senior high school, and 67 junior high school. Although the replication sample was drawn from the same locations as the sample in Study 1, they had no overlap. To test a model, the subjects-to-parameters ratio could not be lower than Bentler and Chou, , and total number of subjects needed to be over Boomsma, Researcher introduced and explained the procedure of the study to make sure all participants understood.

Written and oral informed consent were then obtained from all participants; for participants under 18 years old, we obtained written informed consent from their parents or guardians. In addition to the SDA, to evaluate criterion validity, participants were required to complete scales that assessed trait anxiety, depression, impact of events, and subjective happiness. This is a item scale with a 4-point response scale from 0 to 3 e. A higher score indicates greater depression.

It is composed of three subscales that reflect three typical response sets of intrusion e. Individuals are required to evaluate the degree of distress each statement for themselves during the past 7 days. They need to respond on a 5-point scale from 0 not at all to 4 extremely. We hypothesized that SDA and its four dimensions would be positively associated with all three subscales and the total subjective stress score of IES-R.

A higher score indicates greater trait anxiety. We hypothesized that SDA and its four dimensions would be positively associated with the trait anxiety. Although they are not depressed, they never seem as happy as they might be. To what extend does this characterization describe you? Higher scores indicate greater happiness. We hypothesized that the overall SDA and its four dimensions would be negatively associated with the subjective happiness.

Specifically, a maximum likelihood model was used to test the structural model. Then, descriptive statistical analysis was used to examine the mean, standard variation, skewness, and kurtosis of the four factors. Next, correlational analysis was conducted on using SPSS Finally, independent t -test was used to test the effects of gender male vs. To confirm the four-factor structure model developed from Study 1, CFA with maximum likelihood method was conducted.

These results demonstrated that the items were internally consistent. Regarding test—retest reliability, 74 participants from the current sample completed the SDA twice, with a time interval of 7 days. This result indicated good stability of responses to the SDA across time. Pearson correlational analysis was conducted to explore the association between the SDA and other criterion measures. Results showed expected associations with a significant moderate and low coefficient of correlation r s ranged from Regarding the four dimensions, all of them presented expected associations with a significant coefficient of correlation as did the overall SDA r s ranged from Effects of gender a , religion b , and age c on the overall and four dimensions of SDA.

Overall, the item SDA with four factors demonstrated a good model fit in a second Chinese sample.

Scale of Death Anxiety (SDA): Development and Validation

Results showed good reliability, construct validity, and criterion validity of the SDA. The overall SDA as well as the four dimensions were positively associated with depression, trait anxiety, and the impact of stressful events, and negatively associated with subjective happiness, except for the behavioral component of the SDA: Avoidance of Death, with an alpha of 0.

Explain generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety. disorder?

Therefore, future studies are needed to continue to test the four-factor model of the SDA in samples with different ages, especially for the behavioral component of SDA. The current findings also suggested a negative correlation between age and the SDA, especially for perceived fear of death, which was consistent with previous research e. The current study provided evidence of the relationship between age and death anxiety in a younger sample ranging from 13 to 23 years old , indicating that the SDA is an age-sensitive measure.

Furthermore, there was a non-significant effect of gender and religion on the SDA. Although these findings were consistent with some previous research Neimeyer, , there is one possible explanation for the results in the current study. The age of the current sample ranged from 13 to 23 years old, which is younger than the samples that showed a gender difference. For example, Russac et al. With respect to the non-significant effect of religion on the SDA in the current sample, this is reasonable due to the younger sample we used.

Current non-significant findings suggest that religion could not predict youth perception of death anxiety.

13 Books That Shine a Light on Anxiety

However, considering the large gap between the two subgroups 33 had a religion vs. Considering the complicated influence of religion, we propose an open and complicated relationship of religion and death anxiety, and situational factors such as uncontrollable disasters may influence this link. The item SDA is a reliable and valid measure of individual differences in and perceptions of death anxiety.

Following a systematic process, a four-factor structure of the SDA was identified that revealed four aspects of death anxiety: Dysphoria, Death Intrusion, Fear of Death, and Avoidance of Death. The results of this study indicate that the SDA has a clear factor structure and good psychometric properties in Chinese samples.