Fear of death among voluntary migrants - qualitative pilot study
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University of Szczecin, Institute of Psychology
Submission date: 2021-11-27
Final revision date: 2021-12-06
Acceptance date: 2021-12-14
Online publication date: 2021-12-30
Publication date: 2021-12-30
Corresponding author
Marzena Piłat   

University of Szczecin, Institute of Psychology
Arch Psych Psych 2022;24(3):32-36
Aim of the study:
The studies presented here were aimed at answering the following questions: do voluntary migrants, when deciding to cross borders illegally, take into account the risk of losing their life, how much they fear it, and whether personality traits, such as sensation seeking or self-esteem and culture worldview, are associated with the fear of death.

Subject or material and methods:
The research covered 16 voluntary migrants. A psychological interview and observation were used. Attempts were made to explain the fear of death and the related behaviours of migrants on the basis of two theories: sensation seeking theory by M. Zuckerman and terror management theory by Greenberg, Pyszczynski and Solomon.

It turned out that the subjects rarely considered the risk of losing health or life on their way to the EU, and the level of fear of death was low, especially in men.

The existence of relationships between the level of anxiety and sensation seeking, self-esteem and worldview has been noticed.

The level of fear in women can be explained by their age, life experience, way of making decisions and awareness of dangers along the route to the UE. Women thought about passing away more often because they encountered the death of their relatives more often. Men often made decisions on an impulse. The contemplating death, second aspect of the thanatological attitude was absent in them. They had higher self-esteem than women, a more stable culture worldview, and a higher sensation seeking and propensity for risky behavior. These personality traits may have diminished the fear of death.

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