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Death Attitudes in Institutionalized Ethnically Diverse Asian and Hawai‘ian/Pacific Island Elders

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Title:Death Attitudes in Institutionalized Ethnically Diverse Asian and Hawai‘ian/Pacific Island Elders
Authors:Kwak, Jennifer
Keywords:death attitudes
chronic illness
show 1 moreminority
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Date Issued:Dec 2016
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2016]
Abstract:With the exponential growth of the aging population and the rise of ethnic diversity within the U.S. population, there is a need for research to focus on how this population adjusts to the impending end of physical life. More attention is needed on what it means to be dying and what factors affect death attitudes in ethnically diverse geriatric individuals, particularly in those who are facing their own mortality.
The present study was a partial replication of a previous study conducted by Daaleman and Dobbs (2010) and investigated potential meaningful relationships between death attitudes with demographic variables, mental and physical health indices, social support, spirituality, and intrinsic religiosity in chronically ill older adults. The present study used archival data from a previous University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa IRB-approved research study conducted by the author from 2012-2013, which included data collected from 69 institutionalized elderly participants from five nursing homes and an assisted care facility on the island of O‘ahu in the State of Hawai‘i, U.S.A.
Descriptive analyses indicated significant differences between the community-dwelling participants from the Daaleman and Dobbs (2010) study and the present study’s institutionalized participants. Results from correlational, regression, and ANOVA procedures indicated significant differences in death attitudes based on demographic and health variables and reported levels of spirituality and religiosity. Older adults with greater spirituality and intrinsic religiosity had significantly more positive death attitudes. Additionally, Buddhist, Japanese, married, or male elders reported significantly lower approach acceptance of death compared to Catholics, Filipinos, African Americans, Hispanics, widows, or females.
Findings from the present study have important theoretical and practical implications in numerous fields of study and practice. These results indicate that ethnicity, religious/ spiritual affiliation, marital status, and gender are important demographic variables to consider when examining death attitudes within a multi-ethnic elderly population, even among Asian and Hawai‘ian or Pacific Island cultures. Further investigation and exploration into the role of cultural and religious/ spiritual beliefs will undoubtedly be valuable in gaining a better understanding of factors related to death attitudes in ethnic minorities. Potential implications and recommendations for the application of these findings are discussed.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2016.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Psychology

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