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Abstract

Professionals who work in situations that expose them to death have long been of interest to traumatic stress research. However, the positive changes that these professionals may also experience have not been the subject of empirical scrutiny. This study examined occupational death exposure, death attitudes, subjective appraisals, intrusions, avoidance, social support, and positive and negative affect, and their associations with positive and negative psychological changes in funeral directors. Multivariate hierarchical regression analyses revealed that positive changes were significantly and independently predicted by an approach acceptance death attitude and social support; negative changes were significantly and independently predicted by fear of death, intrusions and avoidance, and occupational death exposure. The discussion focuses on how these findings extend the literature dealing with occupational death exposure, together with a consideration of limitations of the study that inform directions for future research.