ÖLÜM KAYGISI İLE KİŞİLİK ÖZELLİKLERİ ARASINDAKİ İLİŞKİLER
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Bu çalışmanın temel amacı üniversite öğrencilerinin ölüm kaygısı düzeyleri ile kişilik özellikleri arasındaki ilişkilerin belirlenmesidir. Bu bağlamda öncelikle ölüm kaygısı ve kişilik özellikleri kavramlarının tanımları verilmiş, daha sonra bu değişkenlerin birbirleri ile olan ilişkileri kuramsal ve görgül çalışmalar yardımıyla açıklanmaya çalışılmıştır. Bu araştırmaya bir devlet üniversitesinin farklı fakültelerinde (Edebiyat Fakültesi, İlahiyat Fakültesi ve Mühendislik Fakültesi) öğrenim gören 211 kadın ve 208 erkek olmak üzere 419 öğrenci gönüllü olarak katılmıştır. Araştırmada veri toplama araçları olarak Ölüm Kaygısı Ölçeği, Beş Faktörlü Kişilik Ölçeği ve Kişisel Bilgi Formu kullanılmıştır. Araştırmanın verileri nicel analiz teknikleri yardımıyla çözümlenmiştir. Verilerin analizinde bağımsız gruplar için t-testi, korelasyon ve hiyerarşik regresyon analizleri kullanılmıştır. Araştırmanın bulgularına göre, beş faktör kişilik özelliklerinde cinsiyet değişkenine göre anlamlı bir farklılık saptanmamışken ölüm kaygısı düzeyleri bakımından cinsiyet değişkeninde anlamlı düzeyde farklılıkların olduğu bulunmuştur. Korelasyon analizi sonucunda, ölüm kaygısı ile nörotiklik (neuroticism) arasında pozitif ve deneyime açıklık (openness to experience) arasında ise negatif yönde anlamlı ilişkiler belirlenmiştir. Ölüm kaygısı ile diğer kişilik özellikleri (dışadönüklük- extraversion, uyumluluk- agreeableness ve sorumluluk- conscientiousness) arasında anlamlı ilişkilerin bulunmadığı tespit edilmiştir. Demografik değişkenlerden cinsiyet ile beş faktör kişilik özelliklerinden nörotiklik ve deneyime açıklık değişkenlerinin ölüm kaygısındaki varyansı anlamlı olarak açıkladığı belirlenmiştir. Bulgular ilgili alanyazın çerçevesinde tartışılmış ve yorumlanmıştırThe aim of this study is to determine the relationship between death anxiety levels and personality traits of college students. In this context, the definitions of the concepts death anxiety and personality traits were primarily given and then the relationships between these variables are explained with the help of theoretical and empirical studies. 211 women and 208 men in total of 419 college students from different faculties (Faculty of Literature, Faculty of Theology and Faculty of Engineering) of a state university voluntarily participated in this study. Data were collected utilizing Death Anxiety Scale, Five Factor Personality Scale and Personal Information Form. Data were analyzed with quantitative analysis techniques. Independent groups t –test, correlation and hierarchical regression analysis were used in the analysis of the data. The findings of this study showed that however there are no significant differences between five factor personality traits and gender of the participants, there are significant differences between death anxiety and gender of the participants. The correlation analyses results showed that there are positive relations between death anxiety and neuroticism; negative relations between death anxiety and openness to experience. There are no significant relations between death anxiety and other personality traits (extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness). Gender, neuroticism and openness to experience explain the variance significantly in death anxiety. The findings are discussed and interpreted on the basis of relevant literature The Relationships Between Death Anxiety And Personality Traits Death is the greatest dilemma that people have ever experienced (Yanbasti, 1990, 245). According to Yalom (2000, 52) death is the first source of anxiety and in this context is the first psychopathology source. Death anxiety can be defined as an unfavorable situation or restlessness when an individual is exposed as a result of thinking about death (Richarson et al., 1983); fear or anxiety caused by death awareness (Abdel-Khalek, 2005) and the intellectual awareness of the loss of existence (Cicirelli, 2006). According to Jung (1997, 214), at the root of death anxiety lies fear of life. People who are so afraid of death, were also afraid of life in their youth. Death anxiety as a fundamental concern underlying many psychological conditions (Iverach, Menzies, & Menzies, 2014) can be experienced by most people in low or high levels. In general terms, anxiety as loss of body, bitterness, loneliness, and separation from relatives lead to death anxiety (Yildiz, 1996). Death anxiety lies at the basis of important psychological motives. Therefore, ignoring this anxiety means neglecting an important aspect of human behavior (Pyszczynski et al., 2015). Unlike other living beings, human are aware of their mortality (Pyszczynski et al., 1997) therefore they have to deal with anxiety related to this awareness (Greenberg et al., 1997; Rosenblatt et al., 1989). Personality of an individual develops and changes depending on the individual, social and environmental influences (Friedman et al., 2014). Personality affects the behavior and makes a person different from other individuals (Mount et al., 2005). One of the most frequently used models in the literature to examine personality traits is the five-factor model of McCrae & Costa (1987). The dimensions of this model can be listed as: neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness. These dimensions are characterized by adjectives as neuroticism: anxiety, insecurity, anger and shame; extraversion: social, funloving, talkative and friendly; openness to experience: original, creative, have wide interests and courageous; agreeableness: reliable, helpful, kind and dependent and lastly conscientiousness: scrupulous, meticulous, hardworking, ambitious and energetic (McCrae & Costa, 1987). The previous research findings show that there are significant correlations between some personality traits and death anxiety (eg., Fraizer & Foss-Goodman, 1988-89; Jastrzebski & Slaski, 2011; Loo, 1984; Templer, 1972; Thorson, 1977; Thorson & Powell, 1993; Turgay, 2003). Most of the research findings show a positive correlation between neuroticism and death anxiety (Fraizer & Foss-Goodman, 1988-89; Jastrzebski & Slaski, 2011; Loo, 1984; Templer, 1972). In contrast to these findings, Turgay (2003, 83) found a negative correlation between neuroticism and death anxiety. Extraversion (Cully et al., 2001); openness to experience (Cully et al., 2001; Turgay, 2003, 83-84) and agreeableness (Cully et al., 2001) have negative correlations with death anxiety. There is no significant correlation between conscientiousness and death anxiety (Turgay, 2003, 83). In this study, it is expected that some personality traits have significant correlations with death anxiety. Based on the results of the researches given above, the hypothesis of this study are formed as follows: ? There are significant negative relations between extraversion, openness to experience and death anxiety. ? There is a significant positive relation between neuroticism and death anxiety. ? There are no significant relations between agreeableness, conscientiousness and death anxiety. In addition, it is examined whether the variables of this study differ between gender of the participants. In previous studies, there are significant differences between women and men in personality traits and death anxiety levels (eg. Ayten, 2009; Şahin, Demirkıran, & Adana, 2016; Tatlılıoğlu, 2014; Turgay, 2003).Method Participants The sample of this study consists of 419 college students who are selected with convenience sampling technique. The mean age of the participants is 21.95 years (ranging from 18 to 47) with standard deviation of 2.44. Nearly the half of the participants (50.4%) are women and the other half (49.6%) are men. More than the half of the participants (56.3%) are studying at Educational Faculty. Lastly, the majority of the participants (74.5%) have middle-income families. Measures and Procedure The scales were applied to volunteer students during off-hours. Students were informed about the research before the application. The data of this study is collected utilizing Death Anxiety Scale of Thorson & Powell (1992), Five- Factor Personality Traits Scale of Benet-Martinez & John (1998) and personal information form which is developed by the authors of this study. The detailed information about the scales and the form is given below. Death Anxiety Scale. This scale is developed by Thorson and Powell (1992) and adapted to Turkish language by Karaca and Yildiz (2001). The scale consists of 25 items. A 5-point Likert type scale is used in evaluation (1, strongly disagree; 2, disagree; 3, neither agree nor disagree; 4, agree and 5, strongly agree). In Karaca and Yildiz’s (2001) study the Cronbach’s Alpha internal consistency coefficient ?= .84 and split-half reliability coefficient is .73. Five Factor Personality Traits Scale. This scale is developed by Benet-Martinez & John (1998) and adapted to Turkish language by Sumer & Sumer (2005). The scale consists of 5 factors and 44 items. The factors are as follows: neuroticism (8 item), extraversion (8 item), openness to experience (10 item), agreeableness (9 item) and conscientiousness (9 item). A 5-point Likert type scale is used in evaluation (1, strongly disagree; 2, disagree; 3, neither agree nor disagree; 4, agree and 5, strongly agree). In Sumer & Sumer’s (2005) study the Cronbach’s Alpha internal consistency coefficient varies between .64 and .77. Personal Information Form: This form is developed by the authors and consists of demographic information as gender, age and family income level. Results and Discussion In this study, the relationships between death anxiety and personality traits are examined. Firstly, descriptive statistics of the variables are examined. According to the findings, participants have the highest score in openness to experience and the lowest score in extraversion factor of personality traits. This result shows that the participants of this study are original, creative, have wide range of interests, courageous and not sociable (McCrae & Costa, 1987). In contrast to these findings, Acikel (2013) performed a study on college students from a state university in Ankara and found that the participants have the highest score in extraversion and the lowest score in neuroticism. Again, other study from Tatlilioglu (2014) which is performed in Konya, shows inconsistent findings with this study. Tatlilioglu’s (2014) study results show that the participants have the highest score in agreeableness and the lowest score in neuroticism. These inconsistent findings show that students from different universities have different personality traits. The mean score in death anxiety of the participants is below the theoretical mean. This means that the participants of this study have low levels of death anxiety. This finding is consistent with the study of Şahin et al. (2016), however it is inconsistent with the results of Ayten’s (2009) study. In order to determine whether the variables of this study differ by gender, independent groups t-test is performed. According to the results of this test, there are no significant differences between women and men in personality traits. Contrary to this finding, in previous studies women have significantly higher scores in neuroticism than men (eg., Tatlilioglu, 2014; Turgay, 2003, 91). Despite the fact that both women and men have different roles in the society (Ghurayyib, 1988) and biological and physiological differences, in this study there are no significant differences between women and men in personality traits. In terms of death anxiety, there are statistically significant differences between women and men. Women have higher death anxiety scores than men. Women express more sadness, grief and fear than men and this can be the reason of this result (Kring and Gordon, 1998; Lang et al., 1993; Rotter and Rotter, 1988; Wagner et al., 1993). The other reason is that Social Role Theory suggests that the social roles of women and men cause them to behave differently (Eagly, 1987). In previous studies, there are many consistent findings (eg., Ayten, 2009; Şahin et al., 2016). In contrast to this finding, Halici-Kurtalan & Karairmak’s (2016) study results show that men have higher scores than women in death anxiety. To examine the relationships between the variables of this study, Pearson Product Moment Correlation analysis is performed. According to the results, neuroticism has positive and openness to experience has negative correlations with death anxiety. Consistent results are found in many previous studies (eg. Fraizer & Foss-Goodman, 1988; Hamama-Raz et al., 2016; Jastrzebski & Slaski, 2011; Loo, 1984; Templer, 1972). To examine the explained variance in death anxiety, hierarhical regression analysis is performed. According to the findings, gender, neuroticism and openness to experience explain 14% of the variance in death anxiety. Consistent with these reuslts, Fraizer & Foss-Goodman (1988) found that neuroticism explains the variance in death anxiety. As a conclusion, there are statistically significant relationships between death anxiety and some personality traits. This result shows the importance of personality development from fertilization to infancy and childhood. Therefore it can be said that, personality which have the potential to influence many aspects of life, may have influence on thoughts, feelings, and anxiety about death. From this point of view, at macro level, in terms of protecting and improving the mental health of the society, and to gain the positive personality traits, the importance of developing and applying social and educational policies are emerging.