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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Effects of Spirituality and Religiosity upon Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: Mediation, Moderation, or Moderated Mediation?
by Reutter, Kirby K., Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2012, 98; 3516063
Abstract (Summary)

The existing literature demonstrates a modestly positive association between religion and psychological adjustment. However, the role that spirituality plays in wellbeing relative to both high and low levels of religiosity is not well known. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which daily spiritual experiences mediate the association between perceived stress and symptoms of anxiety/depression, and to further examine the extent to which religious commitment moderates this relationship. This study utilized a non-experimental, quantitative, cross-sectional, moderated-mediation design and comprised 343 research participants. Lazarus' Transactional Model of stress provided the theoretical framework for this research. The following instruments were utilized to measure the four variables involved in this study: Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Religious Commitment Inventory, and Perceived Stress Scale. According to the outcomes of this research, spirituality acted as a partial mediator between perceived stress and psychological adjustment, z = 2.06, p = .025. In addition, both spirituality and religiosity acted as moderators between stress and psychological symptoms, R2 = .30, p = .001 and R2 = .25, p = .004. However, religiosity did not act as a significant mediator between stress and psychological adjustment, z = 1.52, p = .128. In addition, religiosity did not seem to significantly moderate the mediating effects of spirituality, p = .16. Overall, this study confirmed the role of both religiosity and spirituality as effective coping resources. Based on these results, religious and spiritual coping should be acknowledged by mental health professionals as personal resiliency factors, and should be incorporated within the therapeutic process. Given the prevalence of religious and spiritual practices in this country, it is puzzling that symptoms of depression remain at epidemic levels. Is religious/spiritual coping more effective for some individuals than for others? Are some forms of religious/spiritual coping more beneficial than other forms? Are there cultural/societal phenomena which supersede individual attempts to cope? Future research should further corroborate the role of spirituality as a mediator; further examine both religiosity and spirituality as distinct variables; and further explore more complex analyses, such as moderated mediation and mediated moderation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bigatti, Silvia
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 73/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Counseling Psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Anxiety, Depression, Religiosity, Spirituality, Stress
Publication Number: 3516063
ISBN: 978-1-267-48864-0
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