Paths from fear of death to subjective well-being : a study of structural equation modeling based on the terror management theory perspective

Şimşek, Ömer Faruk
In this research four models derived from Terror Management Theory (TMT) were tested by using structural equation modeling.. These models were developed for testing different theoretical alternatives in relation to psychological mechanisms explaining the subjective well-being as an outcome of fear of death. The first two models were based on the original Terror Management Theory. The first supposed that death anxiety as a catalyst motivates individuals in two defenses: developing culturally committed personalities by validation of cultural worldview and thus enhancing self-esteem. The second indicated that every individual had two options in the face of death: enhancing their self-esteem or committing to cultural worldview, in turn, improves the well-being of the individual. The last two models were identified by taking attachment as an alternative variable. In the third model, attachment styles of the individuals were presented as a third defense mechanism in addition to self-esteem and cultural worldview in TMT. They were assumed as mediator variables in the model between fear of death and subjective well-being. The last model treated attachment as a mediator between fear of death and distal defenses of self-esteem and cultural worldview. The results indicated that only the last model was entirely supported.. The lack of support for the first two models might be an indicator of the invalidity of the model in cultures that are not individualistic. For the last two models, the results suggested that attachment was crucial in understanding the relationship between fear of death and subjective well-being from a TMT perspective.