Michael Cole

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

James Craig, Leroy Metze, Sam McFarland

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Previous research in death anxiety has suggested that marital roles, and especially the male’s role as the family provider, influence the sex differences in death attitudes (Diggory & Rothman, 1961; Tolor & Murphy, 1967). The present study attempted to directly investigate the effect of marital roles by comparing the sex differences in death anxiety scores (as measured by the Templer Death Anxiety Scale) of married persons, with and without children, and single persons. In addition, 20 demographic covariates were investigated to observe their possible effect on death anxiety. The results of the multiple regression analysis indicated that marital status was not significantly related to death anxiety. However, single males were found to have significantly higher death anxiety than single females. Additional multiple regressions revealed that 18% of the variance in death anxiety scores was accounted for by the five covariates of whether a family member or friend had died in the last year, education, race, age and religious preference. These further analyses indicated that higher death anxiety can be expected if the subject had not experienced a recent death of a family member or friend. Persons with less education, as well as black and younger persons, also have higher death anxiety. Finally, persons who have a religious preference have higher death anxiety than persons who do not have a religious preference.


Arts and Humanities | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology