Death Anxiety and Cancer-Related Stigma: A Terror Management Analysis

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In a study designed to examine correlates of cancer-related stigma, 405 college students were assigned randomly to listen to an audiotaped interview in which the target's cancer type and smoking status were manipulated. In the lung cancer conditions, target gender also was manipulated. Social distance and emotional responses differed according to participant gender, death anxiety, and target cancer type. Participant gender and target characteristics also were associated with perceptions of the target's character. Findings partially support terror management theory and suggest that death attitudes, gender norms, and diagnostic status influence social distancing from individuals with cancer.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2007

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