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2020-2021 Research Seminars

Research Seminar Series

Wednesday Research Seminar Series - Religious factors affecting death anxiety in older adults practicing Hinduism

Event information

START DATE 24 February 2021


END DATE 24 February 2021

We are pleased to invite you to our Wednesday Research Seminar. It will be held online on 24 February from 4pm via Microsoft team platform. Wednesday Research Seminar Series was launched in 2008 and has featured more than 290 presentations to date. The seminars provide a forum for researchers to share their work. Presenters include faculty from Middlesex University Dubai and other universities in the United Arab Emirates, as well as researchers from other global institutions. Nishtha, Aditi, Anita, and Archana will deliver seminar on:     

“Religious factors affecting death anxiety in older adults practicing Hinduism’” 

Nishtha Lamba, Aditi Bhatia, Anita Shrivastava, and Archana Raghavan         


The aim of the study was to examine the influence of religion on death anxiety in older adults practicing Hinduism and visiting the Kumbh pilgrimage. Standardized questionnaires and brief interviews were administered in participants’ native language. Pilgrims with higher religiosity had lower death anxiety compared to pilgrims with lower religiosity. Greater belief in the cycle of rebirth, an increased presence of meaning in life, and less continued search of meaning in life were significantly associated with lower death anxiety. The findings provide support for incorporating religious and spiritual awareness for older adults in community health settings.


Dr. Nishtha Lamba is a senior lecturer in psychology at Middlesex University Dubai and is the Head and Founder of Social Psychology Research Lab. She holds a PhD and MPhil in Psychology from University of Cambridge. She received a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Hunter College, City University of New York. As a mixed-method researcher, she has published her research in international peer reviewed journals on surrogacy, mental health, egg donation, death anxiety, social media, and language development in children. As part of public engagement, she has featured on BBC radio and Harvard Crimson and written research-based articles for Open Magazine, The Hindu, Indian Express, and

Aditi Bhatia is a Lecturer in Psychology at Middlesex University Dubai. Aditi has a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health from University College London in the UK and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with Counselling, from Middlesex University Dubai. She completed an intensive training programme in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy from the William Alanson White Institute (New York) and is currently training in Group Analysis from the Institute of Group Analysis (Oxford). Aditi is involved in both teaching and research in the field of Clinical Psychology. She has previously worked as an Assistant Psychologist at St. Pancras Hospital in London and at Universal Hospital, Abu Dhabi. Aditi is actively involved in supporting community mental health initiatives through her volunteer work, and currently volunteers as a first-line responder for the national Mental Support Line in the UAE. Aditi is a strong advocate for youth mental health, and also leads the Wellness Support Group for students with emotional difficulties at the university.

Dr. Anita Shrivastava, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor, and Head in Psychology. She is a life member of Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists (IACP), with more than twenty-five years of clinical, teaching, and research experience in Ethiopia, Eritrea, India, and the UAE. She is Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy UK (SEHEA). She has presented her research papers in national and international conferences, and has won best research paper award in ICAP, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka. She has published in peer reviewed national and international journals. Her research interests are highly diversified, and include positive psychology interventions and trait research, social and community aspects of mental health, adaptive maladaptive humor, body image correlates among young, mortality salience and materialism, and schizotypy among adults and children. Her current ongoing projects are attitude towards help-seeking; psychological well-being and humor styles; gender composition of schools, body image and psychological well-being.

Archana Raghavan graduated with a BSc Psychology with Counselling skills from Middlesex University Dubai with a First class honour. She is currently a postgraduate student of clinical and counselling psychology at Tata Institute of social sciences, Mumbai and is working for Mental health foundation India (an AIIMS initiative). She has previously interned as a clinical psychology trainee at Lighthouse Arabia, Dubai and as a clinical support worker in St Johns Medical College and Hospital, Bangalore. She is a certified Mental health first-aider and has completed her training in Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist for Individuals (CCTSI). Her research interests include understanding mental health disorders, personality disorders, trauma, attachment styles, and the impact of culture and community on mental health and social policies.

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