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'Cleanliness is Next to Godliness': a further look

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Lewis (1998) reviews the empirical relationship between aspects of religiosity (attitude, practice, and orientation) and measures of obsessionality (personality traits and obsessional symptoms) among non-clinical samples based on studies published between 1981-96. Lewis (1998) draws three conclusions: (1) religious attitude is associated with obsessional personality traits, but not with obsessional symptoms; (2) religious practice is associated with obsessional personality traits, but not with obsessional symptoms; and (3) limited data on the relationship between religious orientation and obsessionality is presently contradictory. However, extrinsic orientation may be associated with obsessional personality traits and obsessional symptoms. The present aim was to examine if these conclusions are challenged by findings from more recent published studies. Nine new studies were identified from the literature. The results from these studies not only largely corroborate the earlier conclusions of Lewis (1998), but also demonstrate the generalisability of the relationship between religiosity and obsessional personality traits across additional measures of both constructs and additional samples. Moreover, it is noted that this association is not 'contaminated' by social desirability. A suggestion for further research is given.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Psychology, University of Ulster at Magee College, Londonderry BT48 7JL, Northern Ireland

Publication date: August 1, 2003

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