Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Religious beliefs impact levels of worry

Date:
August 5, 2011
Source:
McLean Hospital
Summary:
Researchers have found that those who believe in a benevolent God tend to worry less and be more tolerant of life's uncertainties than those who believe in an indifferent or punishing God.

Researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital have found that those who believe in a benevolent God tend to worry less and be more tolerant of life's uncertainties than those who believe in an indifferent or punishing God.

The paper, recently published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, which will be presented by lead author David H. Rosmarin, PhD, assistant in psychology at McLean, at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association on Aug. 5 in Washington, D.C., urges mental health professionals to integrate patients' spiritual beliefs into their treatment regimens, especially for patients who are religious.

"The implications of this paper for the field of psychiatry are that we have to take patients' spirituality more seriously than we do," Rosmarin said.

"Most practitioners are unprepared to conceptualize how spiritual beliefs may contribute to affective states and thus many struggle to integrate such themes into treatment in a spiritually sensitive manner," the paper says.

The paper reports data from two separate studies. One questioned 332 subjects solicited from religious web sites and religious organizations. It included Christians and Jews.

This study found that those who trusted in God to look out for them had lower levels of worry and less intolerance of uncertainty in their lives than those who had a "mistrust" of God to help them out.

The second study was of 125 subjects culled from Jewish organizations. They were shown an audio-video program designed to increase trust in God and decrease mistrust in God. Participants in the two-week program reported significant increases in trust in God and significant decreases in mistrust in God, as well as clinically and statistically significant decreases in intolerance of uncertainty, worry and stress.

"These findings...suggest that certain spiritual beliefs are tied to intolerance of uncertainty and worry for some individuals," the paper concludes.

"We found that the positive beliefs of trust in God were associated with less worry and that this relationship was partially mediated by lower levels of intolerance of uncertainty," it added. "Conversely, the negative beliefs of mistrust in God correlated with higher worry and intolerance..."

The study sought to get a greater understanding of why people worry.

"We had proposed that beliefs about God, both positive and negative, would relate to both worry and intolerance of uncertainty and we found support for our model," Rosmarin said in an interview. "They do relate."

The paper noted that other studies have shown that 93 percent of Americans believe in God or a higher power and that 50 percent of them say that religion is very important to them.

"Furthermore, existing evidence indicates that many areas of spirituality and religion are salient predictors of psychological functioning," it adds.

Yet Rosmarin said that mental health providers rarely if ever ask patients about their spiritual beliefs. "That's crazy," he said. "We don't even ask. We aren't trained to. And it is important."

Rosmarin said the matter is "a health care issue, not a religious issue," and said that by knowing what people believe, mental health professionals can do a better job of helping patients.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McLean Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David H. Rosmarin, Steven Pirutinsky, Randy P. Auerbach, Thr๖stur Bj๖rgvinsson, Joseph Bigda-Peyton, Gerhard Andersson, Kenneth I. Pargament, Elizabeth J. Krumrei. Incorporating spiritual beliefs into a cognitive model of worry. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 2011; 67 (7): 691 DOI: 10.1002/jclp.20798

Cite This Page:

McLean Hospital. "Religious beliefs impact levels of worry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110805083022.htm>.
McLean Hospital. (2011, August 5). Religious beliefs impact levels of worry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110805083022.htm
McLean Hospital. "Religious beliefs impact levels of worry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110805083022.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) — The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins