Qualitative evidence points to the engagement of religious coping strategies when facing adversity, and evidence also highlights the effectiveness of cognitive reappraisal in reducing the impact of distressing emotions on well-being. It has been suggested that religious practices could facilitate the use of reappraisal, by promoting reframing of negative cognitions to alter emotional states. However, the link between religiosity and reappraisal in influencing resilience against symptoms of distress is not known. The current study (N = 203) examined connections among these aspects, using self-reported measures of religious coping, habitual use of specific coping strategies (positive reappraisal) and perceived confidence in using coping strategies, as well as questionnaires assessing symptoms of distress (anxiety and depression). Results point to a mediating role of reappraisal and coping self-efficacy as part of mechanisms that provide a protecting role of religious coping against emotional distress. These results provide novel scientific evidence further validating millennia-old traditional coping practices and shed light on psychological factors influencing adaptive behaviors that promote increased resilience, reduce symptoms of distress, and maintain emotional well-being. These findings inform general counseling practices and counseling of religious clients alike.
- Emotion regulation
- Emotion-cognition interactions
- Cognitive control of emotion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Religious studies