Proximal and distal effects of mortality salience on willingness to engage in health promoting behavior along the life span

  • Taubman-Ben-Ari O
  • Findler L
  • 4


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


The current studies examine proximal and distal mortality salience effects on the willingness to engage in health-promoting activities and explore the roles of age and self-esteem. In Study 1, 164 participants completed a self-esteem scale, were assigned to a mortality salience or a neutral condition, and then completed a scale, tapping their willingness to engage in health promoting activities. Findings revealed that in the proximal mode, mortality salience led the young and middle-aged adults to report higher willingness to promote health behaviors, whereas older adults tended to show a lower willingness to promote their health compared to the control condition. In Study 2, a total of 251 participants completed the same series of questionnaires, including a distracting task immediately after the mortality salience manipulation. Findings revealed that, in the distal mode, whereas death reminders did not affect young adults, mortality salience led middle-aged participants to express higher willingness to conduct health-promoting behaviors than in a control condition. The mortality salience induction did not affect older adults with high self-esteem, but led low self-esteem individuals to report higher willingness to promote their health. The differences between the reactions of the different age groups in both the defense modes are discussed in view of the terror management theory.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in


  • O Taubman-Ben-Ari

  • L Findler

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free