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Psychology is increasingly stressing the institutional bases of behavior. Religion, as one such base, was noted in early Freudian thought, and recent concern has been placed on discerning relationships between religious involvement and personality characteristics. Specific attention was focused on relating church membership to incidence and nature of mental disorder. Citing problems of earlier research, the purpose of this study was to determine and describe relationships between religious group affiliation and mental disorder based on a large and heterogeneous sample. The 1 323 institutionalized Ss used represented six major denominations, or combinations thereof, as they related to five diagnostic categories of functional disorders. Chisquare analysis failed to detect differences between denominations in proportions diagnosed as functional disorders, though Cochran Q revealed significant differences between denominations in type of functional disorder manifested. Based on results of several denominational comparisons, the potential therapeutic value of denominational affiliation and the possible role of it as a deterrent or predisposing factor in mental disorder were discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1978

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