Published in Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, Vol. 58, No. 2 (2008-2009) at 10.2190/OM.58.2.c


The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the level of death anxiety among a national sample of United States funeral directors with varying levels of death exposure, age, and sex. Utilizing the Multidimensional Fear of Death Scale (MFODS), the results showed a significant, but weak negative relationship between levels of death anxiety and the participants' reported number of funerals attended per year. The correlation between death anxiety scores and the number of reported embalming cases performed yearly was, however, not significant. We found a significant negative correlation between death anxiety and age in both men and women funeral directors. The difference in the death anxiety scores between men (n = 166) and women (n = 38) funeral directors was not significant. There was a significant negative correlation with age in both men and women in several fears of death including fear of the dying process, fear for significant others, and fear of premature death. The significant negative correlations were stronger for women than men across all three subscales. Results, direction for further research, and implications of the findings for mental health workers are discussed.