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Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Scott T. Allison


Current research examined the death anxiety-buffering function of close relationships. Terror management theory posits that when mortality is salient, human beings experience debilitating terror and anxiety. Some research has suggested that close relationships may help people cope with the impairing terror induced by thoughts of one’s personal death. Current research extended existing research by exploring nonromantic relationships. Specifically, this research investigated how mortality salience affects one’s emotional attachment to all people with whom one has a relationship with, such as family, and friends. It was predicted that inducing mortality salience would cause participants to report greater ratings of intimacy for family, friends and significant others. Making mortality salient led to higher reports of intimacy and commitment than the control condition. These findings indicate that strong ties and attachments to others may in fact provide a sense of continuity and lastingness that transcends one’s physical existence and brings forth a sense of death transcendence.