The Psychological Outcome of Religious Coping with Stressful Life Events in a Swiss Sample of Church Attendees

Winter, Urs; Hauri, Dimitri; Huber, Stefan; Jenewein, Josef; Schnyder, Ulrich; Kraemer, Bernd (2009). The Psychological Outcome of Religious Coping with Stressful Life Events in a Swiss Sample of Church Attendees. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics, 78(4), pp. 240-244. Karger 10.1159/000219523

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Background: Recent research suggested thatreligious coping, based on dispositional religiousness and spirituality (R/S), is an important modulating factor in the process of dealing with adversity. In contrast to the United States, the effect of R/S on psychological adjustment to stress is a widely unexplored area in Europe. Methods: We examined a Swiss sample of 328 church attendees in the aftermath of stressful life events to explore associations of positive or negative religious coping with the psychological outcome. Applying a cross-sectional design, we used Huber’s Centrality Scale to specify religiousness and Pargament’s measure of religious coping (RCOPE) for the assessment of positive and negative religious coping. Depressive symptoms and anxiety as outcome variables were examined by the Brief Symptom Inventory. The Stress-Related Growth Scale and the Marburg questionnaire for the assessment of well-being were used to assess positive outcome aspects. We conducted Mann-Whitney tests for group comparisons and cumulative logit analysis for the assessmentof associations of religious coping with our outcome variables. Results: Both forms of religious coping were positively associated with stress-related growth (p < 0.01). However, negative religious coping additionally reduced well-being (p = 0.05, β = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.27–0.99) and increased anxiety (p = 0.02, β = 1.94, 95% CI = 1.10–3.39) and depressive symptoms (p = 0.01, β = 2.27, 95% CI = 1.27–4.06). Conclusions: The effects of religious coping on the psychological adjustment to stressful life events seem relevant. These findings should be confirmed in prospective studies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


01 Faculty of Theology > Institute of Empirical Religious Research
01 Faculty of Theology > Department of Protestant Theology [discontinued] > Institute of Practical Theology [discontinued] > Empirical Religious Research and Theory of Inter-religious Communication [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Huber, Stefan


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
200 Religion
200 Religion > 230 Christianity & Christian theology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 310 Statistics








Damian Rafael Kessi

Date Deposited:

15 Dec 2015 15:18

Last Modified:

10 Mar 2019 07:54

Publisher DOI:





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