Poster Number

085

Session Title

Religion and Philosophy

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Description

This study examined mindfulness, resilience, and anxiety in adults adhering to either traditional or progressive, more flexible, faith beliefs. Participants (n = 98) were college students (64% Caucasian; 85% women) with a mean age of 21.78 (SD = 5.44). Twenty-nine percent had previously received a diagnosis of anxiety. Participants responded to the following scales: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being, Mindfulness Attention Awareness, Spiritual Experience Index, and Brief Resilience. Additionally, participants were asked about their level of agreement with religious tenants in order to categorize participants as having traditional, progressive, or non-differentiated religious beliefs. It was found that mindfulness and resilience emerged as better predictors of anxiety level than did religion. Contradicting the hypothesis, higher mindfulness did not predict lower anxiety; instead, lower anxiety related to lower mindfulness and higher resilience. Perhaps a mindful, or intentional, focus on daily experiences increased anxiety in anxious people, and the current sample of college students reported high levels of anxiety. Traditionally religious college students reported using religion to cope with stress; however, they were no more or less anxious than other students. This study also found that adults who agreed with liberal theology looked more like non-religious than conservatively religious adults in terms of religion’s impact on their lives. These findings emphasize the fact that adults who consider themselves to be religious are not a homogeneous group and that the trait of resilience might be a more consistent buffer against anxiety than is mindfulness or religion.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2020; Sixth Annual Showcase of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (SOURCE), Winthrop University, April 2020

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Apr 24th, 12:00 AM

Religion, Mindfulness, and Resilience as Strategies to Cope With Anxiety

This study examined mindfulness, resilience, and anxiety in adults adhering to either traditional or progressive, more flexible, faith beliefs. Participants (n = 98) were college students (64% Caucasian; 85% women) with a mean age of 21.78 (SD = 5.44). Twenty-nine percent had previously received a diagnosis of anxiety. Participants responded to the following scales: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being, Mindfulness Attention Awareness, Spiritual Experience Index, and Brief Resilience. Additionally, participants were asked about their level of agreement with religious tenants in order to categorize participants as having traditional, progressive, or non-differentiated religious beliefs. It was found that mindfulness and resilience emerged as better predictors of anxiety level than did religion. Contradicting the hypothesis, higher mindfulness did not predict lower anxiety; instead, lower anxiety related to lower mindfulness and higher resilience. Perhaps a mindful, or intentional, focus on daily experiences increased anxiety in anxious people, and the current sample of college students reported high levels of anxiety. Traditionally religious college students reported using religion to cope with stress; however, they were no more or less anxious than other students. This study also found that adults who agreed with liberal theology looked more like non-religious than conservatively religious adults in terms of religion’s impact on their lives. These findings emphasize the fact that adults who consider themselves to be religious are not a homogeneous group and that the trait of resilience might be a more consistent buffer against anxiety than is mindfulness or religion.

 

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