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Two Dimensions of Attachment to God and Their Relation to Affect, Religiosity, and Personality Constructs

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Abstract:

In this study we sought to address several limitations of previous research on attachment theory and religion by (1) developing a dimensional attachment to God scale, and (2) demonstrating that dimensions of attachment to God are predictive of measures of affect and personality after controlling for social desirability and other related dimensions of religiosity. Questionnaire measures of these constructs were completed by a sample of university students and community adults (total n= 374). Consistent with prior research on adult romantic attachment, two dimensions of attachment to God were identified: avoidance and anxiety. After statistically controlling for social desirability, intrinsic religiousness, doctrinal orthodoxy, and loving God image, anxious attachment to God remained a significant predictor of neuroticism, negative affect, and (inversely) positive affect; avoidant attachment to God remained a significant inverse predictor of religious symbolic immortality and agreeableness. These findings are evidence that correlations between attachment to God and measures of personality and affect are not merely byproducts of confounding effects of socially desirable responding or other dimensions of religiosity.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-5906.00143

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Baylor University wade_rowatt@baylor.edu 2: Department of Psychology, College of William & Mary lakirk@wm.edu

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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