Symbolic Immortality, Death Anxiety, and Quality of Life in Japanese Elderly Men

Abstract

According to Erikson's theory of psychological development, elderly people face their own death by withstanding death fear and anxiety in order to accept death. Death anxiety is a basic human anxiety and cannot be eliminated fully (Rank, 1945). Lifton (1973) proposed the concept 'ȡ' symbolic immortality 'ɡ' to refer to the universal human quest to achieve a sense of continuity in the face of the incontrovertible fact of death. The present study examines symbolic immortality, death anxiety, quality of life, and the correlations among them in 29 elderly Japanese men via semi-structured interviews, to obtain suggestions on how they can live a better life, and on how to reduce death anxiety in elderly adults. The results showed that people with higher death anxiety thought that death would make them nothing physically and mentally. People with a sense of continuity did not necessarily have low death anxiety.



Author Information
Yukiko Sawamura, Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2016
Stream: General Psychology

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