IJPS April 2011
IJPS October 2011
IJPS April 2012
IJPS October 2012
IJPS April 2013
IJPS October 2013
IJPS Apirl 2014
IJPS October 2014
IJPS Apirl 2015
IJPS Apirl 2016
IJPS October 2016
IJPS Apirl 2017


Kaur Samiksha,1 Yadav J.S.,2

1Psychologist SRLNMHospital, AIIMS New Delhi



In present time anxiety is very common, social anxiety, somatic anxiety, career anxiety. Beyond these every one have an anxiety about death personal as well as others on certain causes like life threatening, accident, kidnapping, mental illness, physical illness, any disaster, after retirement and business failure. So every one have life anxiety as well as death anxiety, death anxiety refer to fear of death.  It is a bound anxiety. It was shows the previous study schizophrenics have higher death anxiety then normal and manic depressive patients. In the same way women have higher death anxiety then men it was higher to her responsibility and some study have shows that senior classes have higher death anxiety then junior high school and adults.

Keywords anxiety, death anxiety, social anxiety, somatic anxiety, career anxiety


Death anxiety may be bound with a specific source and sometimes it may not be related to any single source. The former is referred to as bound anxiety and the later as free-floating anxiety. The bound anxiety may further be classified in several categories depending upon it specific source. For example, if the anxiety is bound to somatic preoccupation it is referred to as somatic anxiety. Similarly, if the source of anxiety involves the fear of interpersonal and social relations it is called social anxiety. In this way one may differentiate among several types of anxieties. Death anxiety is also a type of bound anxiety in which the source of anxiety is the fear of death.


Fear of or anxiety concerning death is considered as a universal reaction. It has been emphasized that we must take in to account the “meaning of death for an individual”, in order to expand our understanding of human behaviour.1,2 with conviction that in the final analysis all human behaviour of consequence is a response to the fear of death,3 while hardly a disease known to psychiatrists, which can be shown not to contain roots of death anxiety, reported death anxiety is complex contract of demo graphic personality dimension and fear of death. 4

The fear of death has been thought to play an important role in depression, psychosomatic disorders and psychopathology in general3 fear of death as being control to the psychopathology of schizophrenia.  Study largely had been confined to normal healthy individuals or those with physical illness, on death anxiety in psychiatrically ill population. Recently there is growing awareness that an individual approach to death is complex and anxiety can be expressed on different aspects of death anxiety 2,5. Some of the ambiguities in the results published so for may be because of the widely prevalent assumption of fear of death as a simple psychological phenomena, characterised by general anxiety about death and the central problem is human development in individualation. The life history of human being is full of experience of separation starting from birth, weaning to school, separating from single state in order to get married up to the ultimate separation, i.e., death, Thus, Rank views anxiety  apprehended involved as separation. Further he says anxiety is experienced in two ways, firstly, when the individual breaks the previous, situation of unity, where he was dependent upon the personal environment and secondly, anxiety is experienced if the individual refuses to separate from his immediate position of security.6

Rank famous studies

Anxiety was influenced by the birth trauma. He held the view that the child experiences us first feeling of fear in the face of life. In fact he has employed the birth experience symbolically and anxiety exists in the infant before any specific content attaches to it.6 the individual comes to the world with fear and this inner fear exists independently of outside threats, whether of a sexual or other nature. Thus here Rank distinguishes between the primal undifferentiated apprehension, which can be called anxiety and the later specific, objectified forms of apprehension which can be called fear. In fact Rank uses the term fear to stand for both fear and anxiety.  He refers to as ‘fear of life’ ‘inner fear’ and the ‘primal fear’ of new born infants is the same as anxiety, which is even accepted by Freud, Homey and Goldstein. The primal anxiety present in the infant, takes two forms throughout the individual’s life career, namely life fear and death fear the life fear is the anxiety at new stability of autonomous activity. It is the fear of having live as an isolated individual, which occurs when a person has apprehension about his creative capacities actualization in new forms of relationship with others or new integration within ourselves. Such creative possibilities bring the threat of separation previous form of relationship.6,

Meaning of Death Fear

The death fear is just the opposite of life fear, where as the life fear is anxiety at ‘going forward’ becoming an individual, the death fear is anxiety at ‘going backward’ losing individuality. Person experience these two forms of anxiety in polarity and is being thrown back and forth all his life between these two poles. One is likely to become neurotic if he is not able to manage these two forms of anxiety in balance. Thus a neurotic who cannot surmount his anxiety sufficiently to affirm his individual capacities negotiate the crises of psychological separation necessary or growth and not able to reunite himself with others in progressively new ways.6,7

Individual can realize himself only in interaction with his culture i.e., in participation in collective values. He quite aware of the value including reason had been overthrown and the individual has been pushed to the fore. This loss of col1ective value or the chaotic condition of social values not only causes neurotic anxiety but brings in barrier for the individual in overcoming neurotic anxiety. 6

Death Anxiety and Its Correlate’s

Several researches had been reported in the literature in which different personality characteristics were studies in relation to aging and death anxiety. For example in an article entitled death anxiety as related to depression and health of retired persons attempted to determine the correlation between depression, death anxiety and health of a population of elderly,8 however; obtained different findings on a sample of 65 college students their behaviour towards elderly. The results could not support the anxiety denial hypothesis that fear of aging and death result in repression of ideas associated with ageing.9 in another study found that older subjects more frequently accepted facts related to death in comparison to younger subjects.10 some other studies have also shown relationship between attitudes toward death and certain psychosocial variables, 11,12,13,14

The literature on death and dying has grown so rapidly, in fact, that it might flow be possible to prepare a review of the review articles. Generally, death fear has been found to be fairly well repressed but typically is higher in females and lower among the aged. 15, 16,8,4, 17,18 The prevalence of death anxiety is often higher in women due to increased responsibility and status that women hold in families.20 anther Results showed that, among elderly participants in an assisted living facility there were higher levels of fear for others and of the dying process than for fear of the unknown. Notably, among the correlates identified, fear for significant others was associated with poor physical health; fear of the dying process was related to low self-esteem, little purpose in life, and poor mental well-being. Gender differences in death anxiety were found: women showed greater fear for the death of loved ones and for the consequences of their own death on these loved ones, than did men. These patterns are discussed in the light of concerns about the welfare of elderly persons; scientific implications are also considered.21

 Some study poof that not general person but psychologically ill person have also fear of death, schizophrenics to have the highest death anxiety than manic-depressive and normal subjects. Schizophrenics and manic-depressive had significantly higher “fear of personal death” compared to normal subject schizophrenics also had a significantly higher “concern about suffering and lingering death.22, He found that the degree of mental disturbance present patient had little effect on their overall attitude towards death. 7so death anxiety is more related to personality adjustment and reported that female scored higher on death anxiety number of studies noted the relation between death anxiety and other emotional correlate such as general anxiety 8,17,15 and also explain to such subjective status as depression 23,24,25,26 senior high school students were found to have higher death anxiety than junior high school and young adult samples, The fear studies show that children’s fears can be grouped into five categories. One of these categories is death and danger. This response was found amongst children age 4 to 6 on the KFQ, and from age 7 to 10.Death is the most commonly feared item and remains the most commonly feared item throughout adolescence.27which reflects a developmental increase in death anxiety and significantly correlated with a combined psychological adjustment.


1.        Feifel, H., & Branscomb, A. BWho's afraid of death? Journal of Abnormal Psychology, . 1973;81:282-288.

2.        Kastenbaum, R., & Costa, P. T. Psychological perspectives on death. Annual Review of Psychology1977; 28: 225-249.

3.        Feifel, H. New Meanings of Death. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1977

4.        Pollak, J. M. Correlates of death anxiety: A review of empirical studies. Omega, 1979;10 97-121.

5.        Feifel, Herman; Branscomb, Allan B.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Jun 1973; Vol 81(3): 282-288.

6.        Rank, O.  Beyond psychology.  New York: Dover. 1941 

7.        Feifel, H., & Nagy, V. TAnother look at fear of death. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, . 1981;54: 479-481.

8.        Templer, D. I. The construction and validation of a death anxiety scale. Journal of General Psychology, 1970; 82: 165-174.

9.        Salter,E. R. & Salter, S, T. Attachment, lossof spouse in elderly adults. Omega:Journal ofDeath and Dying, 19706;23:29-142.

10.     Kailish, R. A. & Reynolds, F. Theindependencies of old people. OccasionalPapers in Gerontology, No. 61977Ann. Arbor:Institute of Gerontology.

11.     Keily,R. D. & Dubek, H.J. Widowhood inelderly women: exploring its relationship tocommunity Integration, hassles, stress andsocial support.International Journal of Agingand Human Development1977;43:243-251

12.     Cappon, A. EAttitudes towards deathamong a group of acute geriatric psychiatric

patients. Journal of Gerontology. 1978;16: 56-59.


13.     Sanders, G., Poole, H. R. & Revero, JAge,personality and health correlates of death concerns in normal aged individuals Journalof Gerontology1980;35: 132-143.

14.     Mullins, B. L. & Lopez, C. (1982). Death and dying.Paper presented at the 8th InternationalConference of Gerontolog

15.     Horson, J. A. & Powell, F. C. (2006). Elements ofdeath anxiety and meaning of death.ournal of Clinical Psychology44:691-701

16.     Durlak, J. A. (1972). Measurement of the fear of death: An examination of some existing scales. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 28, 545-547.

17.     KurlychekR(1978)AssessmentofathtudestowardsdeathanddymgacnticalreviewofsomeavailablemethodsOrrtega9(1),37-4

18.     James A., Thorson and Powell F.C. Elements of Death anxiety and meanings of death. Journal of clinical psychology, 1988, 44, 3.

19.     Durlak, J. A. (1973). Relationship between varions measures of death concern and fear of death. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 41, 162-168.

20.     Harrawood, L. K., White, L. J., & Benshoff, J. J. (2008). Death Anxiety in a National Sample of United States Funeral Directors and Its Relationship with Death Exposure, Age, and Sex. Omega: Journal Of Death & Dying, 58 (2), 129-146

21.     Misler M, Stroebe M, Geurtsen L, Mastenbroek M, Chmoun S, Van Der Houwen K Exploring death anxiety among elderly people a literature review and empirical investigation Omega2011-2012;64(4):357-79.

22.     Khanna, N., R., and Sharma, R.G., A study of Death Anxiety. Journal of personality and clinical studies, 1988, 4(1), 47-51.

  1. Templer, D. (1971) Death anxiety as related to depression and health of retired persons. Journal of Gerontology, 26, 521-523.
  2. Tolar, A., and Reznikoff, M. (1972) Relation between insight, repression, sensitization, internal external control and death anxiety Journal of Abnormal psychology, 5, 426-430
  3. Templer, D., Lester, D., and Ruff, C. (1971). Death anxiety scale means, standard deviations, and embedding. Psychological Reports, 29, 173-174.
  4. Templer, D., Lester, D., and Ruff, C. (1974). Fear of death and femininity. Psychological Report, 35, 530
  5. Griffiths, M. (2007). Death Understanding and Fear of Death in Young Children. The Journal of Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 12 (4), 525-535.