Self-control and the fear of death among adolescents in Hong Kong

Wing Hong Chui, Heng Choon Oliver Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The fear of death, as one of the death attitude dimensions, is heavily studied. However, the potential influence of self-control on the fear of death is scarcely examined. Previous literature implies that self-control may be an influential element in determining the magnitude of the fear of death. However, no study, especially in the Asia region, has attempted to directly examine this relationship. Thus, the current study is among the first to investigate the effects of self-control on death fear in a group of Hong Kong adolescents. Gendered analyses, with and without being divided into different age groups, are performed. The exploration of the moderating impact of religious beliefs on self-control in influencing the fear of death is also examined. Using a cross-sectional design, a total of 1377 native Chinese secondary school-aged male and female adolescents of nine schools are surveyed. Overall, findings suggest that self-control is negatively correlated with the fear of death. Specifically, regression findings indicate that the decrease in selfcontrol, as measured by different low self-control indicators across gender and age, is likely to increase the level of fear of death. Interestingly, findings signify that religiosity has a moderating impact on self-control in determining the level of death fear. On the whole, this study suggests that self-control plays a vital role in determining the level of fear of death among adolescents in Hong Kong. Potential caveats, future directions, and implications of the findings are addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-85
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Fear of death
  • Hong Kong Chinese
  • Religiosity
  • Self-control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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