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  • 1 Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2 Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Semmelweis University, Nagyvárad tér 4, H-1089, Budapest, Hungary
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Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the attitudes displayed towards death by the youth and their mental health in the Hungarian population and to compare the results to data published in the literature. Our goal was to examine changes in the way youth conceived death, furthermore to examine the way youth perceived their own death within a small generational comparison study.

Methods

In order to measure the degree and possible dimensions of the fear of death in Hungarian young the Multidimensional Fear of Death Scale (MFODS) was used. The samples came from different socio-economic groups in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

Results

The two highest anxiety factors were Fear for Significant Others and Fear of the Dying Process in all the examined groups. A significant difference in the overall fear of death was detected between the young and middle aged groups (p = 0.000) but the most characteristic difference was found between the young and older age groups.

Conclusions

This study confirmed previous observations in Western type societies being the first in Hungary to use the validated MFODS method. Improvement of communication within families, opening up channels of communication about death and dying together with the use and distribution of educational materials in schools may reduce fear of death and anxiety among young people.

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