The development and validation of the Multidimensional Meanings of Personal Mortality Measure (MMPMM)

  • Egle Meistaite

Student thesis: PsychD


The issue of mortality is at the heart of many existential understandings of what helps people to live a satisfying life. However, while some suggest that all people should accept the inevitability of their finitude, others focus on meaning despite the terror of death. To date, there is a lack of sound psychometric measures to overcome such a dichotomous view, which may explain inconstancy in findings in this research area. To address this gap, the primary aim of this project is to develop and validate a self-report measure to test the multiple ways that people relate to personal mortality. The study also aims to explore associations between responses to personal death, demographic variables and psychological well-being. An exploratory instrument design was used including an initial qualitative study, a phase of instrument development, and a quantitative study. A psychometric exploration assessed the dimensionality, reliability, construct and incremental validity, and multivariate analyses of demographic variables in a sample of 803 participants. Principal axis factoring analysis resulted in six dimensions that accounted for 70% of the total variance: Self-Oriented Acceptance, Transcendental Acceptance, Relational Acceptance, Relief Acceptance, Avoidance, and Emotional Response. Internal consistency coefficients ranged between .90 and .97 (M = .94). The six-factor model showed good fit statistics in traditional and bifactor confirmatory factor analyses. Relationships with the Psychological Well-Being Scale (PWB), the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ), the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 (DASS21), the Existential Death Anxiety Scale (EDAS), and the Existential Anxiety Questionnaire (EAQ) supported the construct and incremental validity. The study showed that people with different emotional responses had different attitudes towards their personal mortality. There was a significant multivariate effect for spirituality and age. The Multidimensional Meanings of Personal Mortality Measure (MMPMM) has potential for use in psychotherapy and research. Taken together, the study supports the need to turn towards more pluralistic approach in the field of existential therapies.
Date of Award10 Aug 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
SupervisorGina Pauli-Jones (Director of Studies) & Mick Cooper (Co-Supervisor)


  • pluralistic existential approach
  • Personal death
  • personal mortality
  • scale development
  • existential psychology
  • pluralistic approach
  • integrative psychotherapy

Cite this