An Investigation of Psychological Underpinnings and Benefits of Religiosity & Spirituality
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Evolutionary theory provides a useful framework for understanding the possible genesis and benefits of spirituality and/or religiosity. Research within psychology on Attachment and Object Relations Theory indicates congruence between the way we relate and perceive others and the way we relate to and perceive “God”. In addition research has indicated that spirituality and religiosity in general are related to better health outcomes. This study examined the possible differential benefits of using the Pennebaker Written Emotional Disclosure paradigm with or without a spiritual/religious framework. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that any incremental benefits would be moderated by attachment style and level of object relations development. This study provided no support for either a differential effect of writing instructions or for a moderating effect of attachment style or level of object relations development. Implications and suggestions for future inquiry are discussed.
Smith, Jerrell Franklin (2012). An Investigation of Psychological Underpinnings and Benefits of Religiosity & Spirituality. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from