Date of Award

Spring 2-25-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Mindfulness Studies

First Advisor

Melissa Jean

Second Advisor

Andrew Olendzki


Death attitudes are an evolving field of study that continues to expand due to its universal relevance. Clinical and psychological research emphasize how these personal attitudes greatly impact a person’s life and death and are rooted in one’s unique perspective of death and the dying process. This paper provides an in-depth examination of two death attitudes: death acceptance and death anxiety. The two attitudes are complex and shift throughout a person’s lifetime depending on many personal factors, including culture, religion, and age. The paper reveals that death acceptance positively effects a person’s life and promotes greater quality of life, while death anxiety impedes on a meaningful life and dying experience. The paper presents a secondary body of literature to buoy the multiple models that alleviate the negative effects of death anxiety. Focusing on one area, the paper argues that Buddhist teachings provide strong support to a person coping with the negative effects of death anxiety and wanting to cultivate a greater sense of acceptance. Included in this argument are Buddhist teachings on death, impermanence, suffering, and mindfulness-based practices. The paper argues that clinical research and theoretical literature both indicate Buddhist philosophy as positively effecting a person’s ability to cope with death anxiety and generate a more accepting attitude toward death.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.