Social support as a mediator in the relationship between religious comforts and strains and trauma symptoms

J. Irene Harris, Christopher R. Erbes, Ann Marie Winskowski, Brian E. Engdahl, Xuan V. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent research shows that religious and spiritual variables are related to adjustment among those who have experienced trauma (Harris et al., 2008). It is also known that social support influences posttraumatic adjustment (Frazier et al., 2011). Critics have argued that religious and spiritual variables primarily serve as a proxy for social support because individuals in spiritual communities access higher levels of social support than those with no such community (Bradley, Schwartz, & Kaslow, 2005). We sought to explore the interrelationships among these 3 domains by studying church members with histories of trauma exposure. We found that social support and religious comforts and strains are distinguishable. Social support, religious comfort, and religious fear and guilt make independent contributions to posttraumatic adjustment, whereas social support partially mediates the relationship between alienation from one higher power, religious rifts, and trauma symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-229
Number of pages7
JournalPsychology of Religion and Spirituality
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • religion
  • social support
  • spirituality
  • trauma

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