Religious Coping and Psychological Adjustment to Stress: A Meta-Analysis
A growing body of literature suggests that people often turn to religion when coping with stressful events. However, studies on the efficacy of religious coping for people dealing with stressful situations have yielded mixed results. No published studies to date have attempted to quantitatively synthesize the research on religious coping and psychological adjustment to stress. The purpose of the current study was to synthesize the research on situation-specific religious coping methods and quantitatively determine their efficacy for people dealing with stressful situations. A meta-analysis of 49 relevant studies with a total of 105 effect sizes was conducted in order to quantitatively examine the relationship between religious coping and psychological adjustment to stress. Four types of relationships were investigated: positive religious coping with positive psychological adjustment, positive religious coping with negative psychological adjustment, negative religious coping with positive psychological adjustment, and negative religious coping with negative psychological adjustment. The results of the study generally supported the hypotheses that positive and negative forms of religious coping are related to positive and negative psychological adjustment to stress, respectively. Implications of the findings and their limitations are discussed.