Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

William G. Kirk


The purpose of the study was the development of the Self-Death Awareness Scale (SDAS), an instrument that is intended to measure the awareness of the fact that a person is mortal and is going to eventually die. The experimental instrument was administered to 100 persons equally divided into four age groups (ages 17-83). It was hypothesized that age and the SDAS were correlated with older persons being more aware of their own mortality than younger subjects. Also investigated were the variables of sex, occupation, education, church membership, number of children, marital status, and loss of family and friends through death. The SDAS was correlated to the DAS (Death Anxiety Scale) (Templar, 1970). The results showed a correlation coefficient of .58 (p <.01) between the SDAS and the DAS. The Correlation coefficient of age to the SDAS scores was not significant and the hypothesis was not supported. An analysis of variance for the sub-groups yielded two F ratios which were significant: Females (F = 5.38, p <.05) and Subjects with Two Children (F = 2.84, p <.05). The correlation between the SDAS and DAS indicates a relationship between anxiety and awareness which needs further investigation. The implications for additional research were discussed.