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Adjusting to death: the effects of mortality salience and self-esteem on psychological well-being, growth motivation, and maladaptive behavior

Routledge, Clay, Ostafin, Brian, Juhl, Jacob, Sedikides, Constantine, Cathey, Christie and Liao, Jiangqun (2010) Adjusting to death: the effects of mortality salience and self-esteem on psychological well-being, growth motivation, and maladaptive behavior Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, (6), pp. 897-916. (PMID:21114350).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This research builds on terror management theory to examine the relationships among self-esteem, death cognition, and psychological adjustment. Self-esteem was measured (Studies 1–2, 4–8) or manipulated (Study 3), and thoughts of death were manipulated (Studies 1–3, 5–8) or measured (Study 4). Subsequently, satisfaction with life (Study 1), subjective vitality (Study 2), meaning in life (Studies 3–5), positive and negative affect (Studies 1, 4, 5), exploration (Study 6), state anxiety (Study 7), and social avoidance (Study 8) were assessed. Death-related cognition (a) decreased satisfaction with life, subjective vitality, meaning in life, and exploration; (b) increased negative affect and state anxiety; and (c) exacerbated social avoidance for individuals with low self-esteem but not for those with high self-esteem. These effects occurred only when death thoughts were outside of focal attention. Parallel effects were found in American (Studies 1–4, 6–8) and Chinese (Study 5) samples.

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More information

Published date: December 2010
Keywords: self-esteem, mortality salience, well-being
Organisations: Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 170337
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/170337
ISSN: 0022-3514
PURE UUID: 2552252f-1a1c-4956-8357-6f493882ce4c

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Jan 2011 10:04
Last modified: 30 Aug 2017 23:48

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Contributors

Author: Clay Routledge
Author: Brian Ostafin
Author: Jacob Juhl
Author: Christie Cathey
Author: Jiangqun Liao

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