Advertisement

Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 54, Issue 6, pp 2225–2234 | Cite as

The Influence of Religious Coping and Religious Social Support on Health Behaviour, Health Status and Health Attitudes in a British Christian Sample

  • Gayle Brewer
  • Sarita Robinson
  • Altaf Sumra
  • Erini Tatsi
  • Nadeem Gire
Original Paper

Abstract

Previous research has established a relationship between religion and health. However, the specific aspects of religion which may influence health are not fully understood. The present study investigates the effect of religious social support and religious coping on health behaviours, health status and attitudes to health whilst controlling for age and non-religious social support. The results indicate religious coping and religious social support positively impact on self-reported current health status, depression, health outlook and resistance susceptibility. However, negative religious coping was predictive of increased alcohol consumption. Overall congregational support and negative religious coping had the greatest impact on health.

Keywords

Religion Coping styles Social support Health Well-being 

References

  1. Bosworth, H. B., Park, K. S., McQuoid, D. R., Hays, J. C., & Steffens, D. C. (2003). The impact of religious practice and religious coping on geriatric depression. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 18, 905–914.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bradley, D. E. (1995). Religious involvement and social resources: Evidence from the data set “Americans’ changing lives”. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 34, 259–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bradshaw, M., & Ellison, C. G. (2010). Financial hardship and psychological distress: Exploring the buffering effects of religion. Social Science and Medicine, 71, 196–204.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Cohen, D., Yoon, D. P., & Johnstone, B. (2009). Differentiating the impact of spiritual experiences, religious practices, and congregational support on the mental health of individuals with heterogeneous medical disorders. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 19, 121–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cooper, M. L., Russell, M., & George, W. H. (1988). Coping, expectancies, and alcohol abuse: A test of social learning formulations. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 97, 218–230.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Dew, R. E., Daniel, S. S., Goldston, D. B., McCall, W. V., Kuchibhatla, M., Schleifer, C., et al. (2010). A prospective study of religion/spirituality and depressive symptoms among adolescent psychiatric patients. Journal of Affective Disorders, 120, 149–157.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Ellison, C. G., & George, L. K. (1994). Religious involvement, social ties, and social support in a southeastern community. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 33, 46–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fiala, W. E., Bjork, J. P., & Gorsuch, R. (2002). The religious social support scale: Construction, validation, and cross-validation. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30, 761–786.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Finch, B. K., & Vega, W. A. (2003). Acculturation stress, social support, and self-rated health among Latinos in California. Journal of Immigrant Health, 5, 109–117.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Fontana, A., & Rosenheck, R. (2004). Trauma, change in strength of religious faith, and mental health service use among veterans treated for PTSD. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 192, 579–584.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Gallup, P. (2011). Religion. http://www.gallup.com/poll/1690/religion.aspx#1. Accessed 24th February 2012.
  12. Gatrell, A. C., & Elliott, S. J. (2009). Geographies of health: An introduction. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  13. Hackney, C. H., & Sanders, G. S. (2003). Religiosity and mental health: A meta-analysis of recent studies. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 42, 43–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hasking, P., Lyvers, M., & Carlopio, C. (2011). The relationship between coping strategies, alcohol expectancies, drinking motives and drinking behaviour. Addictive Behaviors, 36, 479–487.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Herbert, R., Zdaniuk, B., Schulz, R., & Scheier, M. (2009). Positive and negative religious coping and well-being in women with breast cancer. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 12, 537–545. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2008.0250
  16. Hill, P. C., & Pargament, K. I. (2003). Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of religion and spirituality: Implications for physical and mental health research. American Psychologist, 58, 64–74.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Hoff, A., Johannessen-Henry, C. T., Ross, L., Hvidt, N. C., & Johansen, C. (2008). Religion and reduced cancer risk—What is the explanation? European Journal of Cancer, 44, 2573–2579.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Horning, S. M., Davis, H. P., Stirrat, M., & Cornwell, R. E. (2011). Atheistic, agnostic, and religious older adults on well-being and coping behaviors. Journal of Aging Studies, 25, 177–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hummer, R. A., Ellison, C. G., Rogers, R. G., Moulton, B. E., & Romero, R. R. (2004). Religious involvement and adult mortality in the United States: Review and perspective. Southern Medical Journal, 97, 1223–1230.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Idler, E. L., Musick, M. A., Ellison, C. G., George, L. K., Krause, N., Levin, J. S., et al. (2003). NIA/Fetzer measure of religiousness and spirituality: Conceptual background and findings from the 1998 general social survey. Research on Aging, 25, 327–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ironson, G., Stuetzle, R., & Fletcher, M. A. (2006). An increase in religiousness/spirituality occurs after HIV diagnosis and predicts slower disease progression over 4 years in people with HIV. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 21, S62–S68.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Koenig, H. G., McCullough, M., & Larson, D. B. (2001). Handbook of religion and health. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Koenig, H., Pargament, K. I., & Nielsen, J. (1988). Religious coping and health status in medically ill hospitalised older adults. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 186, 513–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Krause, N. (2002). Church-based social support and health in old age: Exploring variations by race. The Journals of Gerontology. Series B: Psychological Sciences, 57, S332–S347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Krause, N. (2008). Aging in the church: How social relationships affect health. West Conshhocken, PA: Templeton Foundation Press.Google Scholar
  26. Krause, N., Ellison, C. G., Shaw, B. A., Marcum, J. P., & Boardman, J. D. (2001). Church-based social support and religious coping. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 40, 637–656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. La Cour, P., Avlund, K., & Schultz-Larsen, K. (2006). Religion and survival in a secular region: A twenty year follow-up of 734 Danish adults born in 1914. Social Science and Medicine, 62, 157–164.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Lee, B. Y., & Newberg, A. B. (2005). Religion and Health: A review and critical analysis. Zygon, 40, 443–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lundberg, C. D. (2010). Unifying the truths of the world’s religions. New Fairfield, CT: Heavenlight Press.Google Scholar
  30. MacKenzie, E. R., Rajagopal, D. E., Meibohm, M., & Lavizzo-Mourey, R. (2000). Spiritual support and psychological well-being: Older adults’ perceptions of the religion and health connection. Alternative Therapy Health and Medicine, 6, 37–45.Google Scholar
  31. Maman, S., Cathcart, R., Burkhardt, G., Omba, S., & Behets, F. (2009). The role of religion in HIV-positive women’s disclosure experiences and coping strategies in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Social Science and Medicine, 68, 965–970.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Nooney, J., & Woodrum, E. (2002). Religious coping and church-based social support as predictors of mental health outcomes: Testing a conceptual model. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 41, 359–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. O’Reilly, D., & Rosato, M. (2008). Religious affiliation and mortality in Northern Ireland: Beyond Catholic and Protestant. Social Science and Medicine, 66, 1637–1645.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Pargament, K., Feuille, M., & Burdzy, D. (2011). The brief RCOPE: Psychometric properties of a short measure of religious coping. Religions, 2, 51–76.Google Scholar
  35. Pargament, K. I., Koenig, H. G., & Perez, L. M. (2000). The many methods of religious coping: Development and initial validation of the RCOPE. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 56, 519–543.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Pargament, K. I., Koenig, H. G., Tarakeshwar, N., & Hahn, J. (2004). Religious coping methods as predictors of psychological, physical and spiritual outcomes among medically ill elderly patients: A two-year longitudinal study. Journal of Health Psychology, 9, 713–730. doi: 10.1177/1359105304045366
  37. Pirutinsky, S., Rosmarin, D. H., & Pargament, K. I. (2009). Community attitudes towards culture-influenced mental illness: Scrupulosity vs. nonreligious OCD among orthodox jews. Journal of Community Psychology, 37, 949–958.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pirutinsky, S., Rosmarin, D. H., Pargament, K. I., & Midlarsky, E. (2011). Does negative religious coping accompany, precede, or follow depression among Orthodox Jews? Journal of Affective Disorders, 132, 401–405.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D Scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1, 385–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rosmarin, D. H., Bigda-Peyton, J. S., Kertz, S. J., Smith, N., Rauch, S. L., & Bjorgvinsson, T. (2013). A test of faith in God and treatment: The relationship of belief in God to psychiatric treatment outcomes. Journal of Affective Disorders, 146, 441–446.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Schmuck, H. (2000). “An act of Allah”: Religious explanations for floods in Bangladesh as survival strategy. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 18, 85–95.Google Scholar
  42. Sherbourne, C. D., & Stewart, A. L. (1991). The MOS social support survey. Social Science and Medicine, 32, 705–714.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Shreve-Neiger, A. K., & Edelstein, B. A. (2004). Religion and anxiety: A critical review of the literature. Clinical Psychology Review, 24, 379–397.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Siegel, K., Anderman, S. J., & Schrimshaw, E. W. (2001). Religion and coping with health-related stress. Psychology and Health, 16, 631–653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Silton, N. R., Flannelly, K. J., Galek, K., & Ellison, C. G. (2013). Beliefs about God and mental health among American adults. Journal of Religion and Health 1–12. doi: 10.1007/s10943-013-9712-3
  46. Simoni, J. M., & Ortiz, M. Z. (2003). Mediational models of spirituality and depressive symptomatology among HIV-positive Puerto Rican women. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 9, 3–15.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Smith, T. B., McCullough, M. E., & Poll, J. (2003). Religiousness and depression: Evidence for a main effect and the moderating influence of stressful life events. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 614–636.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Smith, B. W., Pargament, K. I., Brant, C., & Oliver, J. M. (2000). Noah revisited: Religious coping by church members and the impact of the 1993 midwest flood. Journal of Community Psychology, 28, 169–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Smith, M. H., Richards, P. S., & Maglio, C. J. (2004). Examining the relationship between religious orientation and eating disturbances. Eating Behaviors, 5, 171–180.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Sowell, R., Moneyham, L., Hennessy, M., Guillory, J., Demi, A., & Seals, B. (2000). Spiritual activities as a resistance resource for women with human immunodeficiency virus. Nursing Research, 49, 73–82.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Sternthal, M. J., Williams, D. R., Musick, M. A., & Buck, A. C. (2010). Depression, anxiety, and religious life: A search for mediators. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 51, 343–359.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Swinyard, W. R., Kau, A. K., & Phua, H. Y. (2001). Happiness, materialism and religious experience in the US and Singapore. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2, 13–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. The WHOQOL-SRPB Group, & Skevington, S. M. (2006). A cross-cultural study of spirituality, religion, and personal beliefs as components of quality of life. Social Science and Medicine, 62, 1486–1497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Uchino, B. N. (2005). Social support and physical health: Understanding the health consequences of relationships. American Journal of Epidemiology, 161, 297–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Uchino, B. N., Uno, D., & Holt-Lunstad, J. (1999). Social support, physiological processes, and health. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 8, 218–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. van Olphen, J., Schulz, A., Israel, B., Chatters, L., Klem, L., Parker, E., et al. (2003). Religious involvement, social support, and health among African-American women on the east side of Detroit. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 18, 549–557.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Ware, J. E., Davies-Avery, A., & Donald, C. A. (1978). Conceptualization and measurement of health for adults in the health insurance study: General health perceptions. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.Google Scholar
  58. Winter, U., Hauri, D., Huber, S., Jenewein, J., Schnyder, U., & Kraemer, B. (2009). The psychological outcome of religious coping with stressful life events in a Swiss sample of church attendees. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 78, 240–244.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Yong, H. H., Hamann, S. L., Borland, R., Fong, G. T., Omar, M., & for the ITC-SEA project team. (2009). Adult smokers’ perception of the role of religion and religious leadership on smoking and association with quitting: A comparison between Thai Buddhists and Malaysian Muslims. Social Science and Medicine, 69, 1025–1031.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gayle Brewer
    • 1
  • Sarita Robinson
    • 1
  • Altaf Sumra
    • 1
  • Erini Tatsi
    • 1
  • Nadeem Gire
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK

Personalised recommendations