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Psychol Aging. 2003 Sep;18(3):474-86.

Perceived self-efficacy domains as predictors of fear of the unknown and fear of dying among older adults.

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Graduate Program in Psychology, Trinity Western University, Langley, British Columbia, Canada.


Using a sample of 167 women and 121 men, aged 65-87, this study tested the hypothesis that self-efficacy beliefs of older persons are significantly stronger predictors of death fears than are demographics, social support, and physical health variables used in earlier predictor models. Standard self-report measures were used to assess all predictor variables, including perceived self-efficacy in 8 different domains. Findings from a series of hierarchical regression analyses that were conducted separately for men and women supported the hypothesis concerning the superiority of self-efficacy variables as predictors of fear of the unknown after death and fear of dying, with spiritual health efficacy and instrumental efficacy being the most potent predictors of death fears for women and men, respectively.

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