Understanding Religiosity and Mental Health through Attribution Styles: A Resiliency-Based Framework



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Events such as the COVID-19 pandemic illustrate the need to examine the relationship between religiosity and mental health during stressful situations. With a recent increase in religious discrimination against the Muslim and Catholic communities, coping in response to secondary trauma becomes an important mental health variable to consider during the pandemic. Furthermore, subjective well-being, measured through happiness, was examined to understand the role of religiosity in enhancing well-being. Adopting a resiliency framework for this study, the researcher conceptualized religiosity as a protective factor against negative mental health outcomes. Thus, to understand the unique contribution of religiosity as a protective factor, resilience was added as a control variable. This study also considered attributional styles as a possible mediator for the proposed relationship between religiosity and mental health outcomes. Thus, this exploratory study aimed to understand how religion may be a resilience resource for individuals facing a global stressor, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Results suggested that higher levels of religiosity in Catholics were related to higher levels of secondary trauma self-efficacy. While for Muslims, higher levels of religiosity were related to higher levels of happiness. Attributional styles did not mediate the relationship between religiosity and happiness. Nor did attributional styles mediate the relationship between religiosity and secondary trauma self-efficacy. However, the variable resilience, which served as a control in the modeling, related positively with religiosity, secondary trauma self-efficacy, and happiness. Implications and recommendations for future research based on the findings are discussed.



religion, Islam, Catholicism, mental health, attributional styles, religiosity, happiness, secondary trauma self-efficacy, mediational model