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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare terminally ill with healthy adults for differences in religiousness; sense of well-being also was explored. This study was based upon a conceptualization of dying as a developmental phase of life. It was hypothesized that terminally ill adults report greater religiousness than healthy adults. A terminally ill and a healthy group with 57 adults each were matched on four key variables: age, gender, education, and religious affiliation. All 114 participants completed two questionnaires: the Religious Perspective Scale and the Index of Well-Being. A t-test of differences between the group means supported the hypothesis (t (112) = 3.11, p < .001). There was no difference between the groups on sense of well-being; both indicated moderately high levels of well-being. A positive relationship between religiousness and well-being was found in the healthy group (r = .43, p < .001), but not in the terminally ill group.