Are older adults less anxious about death than are younger and middle-aged adults?
Yes. Although death in industrialized society has come to be associated primarily with old age, studies generally indicate that death anxiety in adults decreases as age increases. Among the factors that may contribute to lower anxiety are a sense that goals have been fulfilled, living longer than expected, coming to terms with finitude, and dealing with the deaths of friends. The general finding that older adults are less fearful of death than middle-aged counterparts should not obscure the fact that some subgroups may have considerable preoccupation and concern about death and dying. Some fear the process of dying much more than death itself.
Linda Breytspraak, Center on Aging Studies, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Last update: Sunday, July 06, 2008