Christian religious functioning and trauma outcomes

J. Irene Harris, Christopher R Erbes, Brian Engdahl, Raymond H.A. Olson, Ann Marie Winskowski, Joelle McMahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


While some trauma survivors find their faith helpful in recovery, others find it a source of distress, and still others abandon their faith. More complex conceptualizations of religious functioning are needed to explore its relationship with trauma. This study explores such relationships using measures of religious action and behaviors in a community sample of 327 church-going, self-identified trauma survivors. A principal components analysis of positive and negative religious coping, religious comforts and strains, and prayer functions identified two dimensions: Seeking Spiritual Support, which was positively related to posttraumatic growth, and Religious Strain, which was positively related to posttraumatic symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-29
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of clinical psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • PTSD
  • Posttraumatic growth
  • Prayer
  • Religion
  • Religious coping
  • Trauma


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