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Self-Directing Religious Coping: A Deistic God, Abandoning God, or No God at All?

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Self-directing religious coping has been correlated with both positive and negative outcome variables in previous research. The purpose of this study was to explore the potential meaning behind these mixed findings by clarifying the nature of the self-directing religious coping construct. A new set of subscales was constructed that operationalized different aspects of the construct. This scale, the original Religious Problem Solving Scale, and mental-health measures were given to 262 undergraduate students at a moderate-sized midwestern university. Two factors were identified with the revised self-directing measure: a deistic and supportive but nonintervening God factor and an abandoning God factor. The Abandoning God Subscale was more highly correlated with the original Self-Directing Scale than was the deistic God measure. The Deistic and Supportive God Subscale was correlated with both positive and negative mental-health outcomes, whereas the abandoning God measure consistently related to poorer outcomes.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Bowling Green State University

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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