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In the reform era, China appears to be caught in a contradictory dual process – the entrenchment of secular values and simultaneously, the notable revival of all forms of religion. However, the existing literature has achieved limited success theorizing how the thriving of faiths constitutes, and co-evolves with, secular modernity and capitalism. This article contributes to this re-theorization by bringing migration, labour and industrial capitalism to bear on faith and religious practices. Our empirical study in Shenzhen focuses on the formation of rural-to-urban migrant workers’ Christian faith. We examine the ways in which migrant workers manoeuvre religion as a cultural, symbolic and discursive resource to come to terms with, but also sometimes to question and counteract, the double exploitation enforced by state regulation and labour relations. In the meantime, however, this article also argues that migrants’ efforts in self-transformation through the discourses of benfen and suzhi, and their theologically mediated interpretation of alienation, labour exploitation and social inequality, overlap with, and reinforce, the agenda of producing docile, productive bodies of migrants, an agenda endorsed by the state–capital coalition. This research opens new opportunities for theorizing how capitalist secularity and religious orientation implicate one another in the current Chinese society.
This study sought to examine the role of death anxiety as a transdiagnostic predictor of social anxiety symptomatology compared to self-esteem and intolerance of uncertainty, and to examine the relationship between measures of intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity and death anxiety. A total of 591 participants, 445 females, average age 38.0 years (SD = 14.5), completed an online survey including background questions, the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, the Social Interaction Anxiety and Social Phobia Scale, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale, the Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire, the Spirituality Scale, and the Death Anxiety Scale. No significant, independent relationship was found between death anxiety and social anxiety symptomatology, although self-esteem and intolerance of uncertainty were significant predictors of both measures of social anxiety, confirming the importance of these key transdiagnostic mediators as predictors of social anxiety symptomatology. A strong negative correlation was found between death anxiety and measures of both intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity in this general population sample not selected for high religious affiliation.
Indonesia has seen recent expansions of fundamentalist movements mobilising members in support a change to the current constitution. Against this background, two studies were conducted. In Study 1, we explored the intersection of religious and national identity among Indonesian Muslims quantitatively, and in Study 2, we qualitatively examined religious and national identification among members of moderate and fundamentalist religious organisations. Specifically, Study 1 (N = 178) assessed whether the association of religious and national identity was moderated by religious fundamentalism. Results showed that strength of religious identification was positively associated with strength of national identification for both those high and low in fundamentalism. Using structured interviews and focus group discussions, Study 2 (N = 35) examined the way that self-alignment with religious and national groups develops among activists of religious movements in Indonesia. We found that while more fundamentalist activists attached greater importance to their religious identity than to any other identity (e.g., national and ethnic), more moderate activists represented their religious and national identities as more integrated and compatible. We conclude that for Indonesian Muslims higher in religious fundamentalism, religious and national identities appear to be less integrated and this is consequential for the way in which collective agendas are pursued.
Prior research found that the positive association between wisdom and subjective well-being might at least partially be explained by a greater sense of mastery and purpose in life. This study tested whether religiosity provides an alternative pathway to well-being and whether the associations are moderated by age cohort and nation of residency.
Design and Participants:
A quota sample design was used, stratified by age group, sex, and nation of residency, to collect cross-sectional survey data of 111 older adults (age range 62–99 years, M = 77.20, SD = 8.98) and 100 young adults (age range 21–30 years, M = 24.05, SD = 2.69) from Canada and the United States.
Face-to-face interviews were conducted to administer the survey. All measures consisted of validated scales and items.
Multi-group path analysis confirmed that mastery and purpose in life partially mediated the association between wisdom and well-being. Religiosity offered an alternative pathway to well-being, also partially through a greater sense of mastery and purpose in life. Wisdom was statistically more strongly related to mastery among older adults, whereas the association between mastery and purpose in life was statistically stronger among young adults. The mediated pathways from wisdom and religiosity to well-being did not differ by nation of residency.
These results highlight the importance of internal strengths for subjective well-being among both young and older adults and add confidence to the generalizability of the mediated path model for North America.
Previous research has shown prospectively that religiosity/spirituality protects against depression, but these findings are commonly critiqued on two grounds, namely: (1) apparent religiosity/spirituality reflects merely an original absence of depression or elevated mood and (2) religiosity/spirituality too often is measured as a global construct. The current study investigates the relationship between depression and religiosity/spirituality by examining its multidimensional structural integrity.
Confirmatory factor analyses with a previously observed cross-cultural factor structure of religiosity/spirituality variables were conducted on an independent sample, diagnostic and familial risk subgroups from this sample, and a subsample of the original cross-cultural sample. Linear regressions onto a previous diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD) 5 years prior to assess the potential attenuating impact of a previous depression was explored.
Across familial risk groups and clinical subgroups, each of the previously validated religiosity/spirituality domains was confirmed, namely: religious/spiritual commitment, contemplative practice, sense of interconnectedness, the experience of love, and altruistic engagement. Previous MDD diagnosis was associated with a lower religious/spiritual commitment among high-risk individuals, higher contemplation among low-risk individuals, and lower importance of religion or spirituality regardless of risk group.
Structural integrity was found across familial risk groups and diagnostic history for a multidimensional structure of religiosity/spirituality. Differential associations between a previous diagnosis of MDD and level of religiosity/spirituality across domains suggest a complex and interactive relation between depression, familial risk, and religiosity/spirituality. Accounting for an empirically valid, multidimensional understanding of religiosity/spirituality may advance research on mechanisms underlying the relationship between religiosity/spirituality and mental health.
What citizens think about Muslim immigrants has important implications for some of the most pressing challenges facing Western democracies. To advance contemporary understanding of what ‘Islamophobia’ really is – for example, whether it is a dislike based on immigrants’ ethnic background, religious identity or specific religious behaviors – this study fielded a representative online survey experiment in the UK in summer 2015. The results suggest that Muslim immigrants are not per se viewed more negatively than Christian immigrants. Instead, the study finds evidence that citizens’ uneasiness with Muslim immigration is first and foremost the result of a rejection of fundamentalist forms of religiosity. This suggests that common explanations, which are based on simple dichotomies between liberal supporters and conservative critics of immigration, need to be re-evaluated. While the politically left and culturally liberal have more positive attitudes toward immigrants than right-leaning individuals and conservatives, they are also far more critical of religious groups. The study concludes that a large part of the current political controversy over Muslim immigration is related to this double opposition: it is less about immigrants versus natives or even Muslim versus Christians than about political liberalism versus religious fundamentalism.
Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, popular perceptions in the United States, especially among political elites, continue to believe that religious Muslims oppose American democratic traditions and values. While many studies find positive relationships between mosque attendance and civic participation among U.S. Muslims, an empirical and theoretical puzzle continues to exist. What is missing is research that examines the relationships between the multi-dimensional concept of religiosity and how this is associated with public opinion and attitudes towards the American political system among Muslim Americans. Using a unique national survey of Muslim Americans, we find a positive relationship between religious beliefs, behavior, and belonging and perceptions of compatibility with American democratic traditions. Quite simply, the most religious are the most likely to believe in political integration in the United States.
Religiosity is a protective factor against many health problems, including alcohol use disorders (AUD). Studies suggest that religiosity has greater buffering effects on mental health problems among US Blacks and Hispanics than Whites. However, whether race/ethnic differences exist in the associations of religiosity, alcohol consumption and AUD is unclear.
Using 2004–2005 NESARC data (analytic n = 21 965), we examined the relationship of public religiosity (i.e. frequency of service attendance, religious social group size), and intrinsic religiosity (i.e. importance of religious/spiritual beliefs) to frequency of alcohol use and DSM-IV AUD in non-Hispanic (NH) Blacks, Hispanics and NH Whites, and whether associations differed by self-identified race/ethnicity.
Only public religiosity was related to AUD. Frequency of religious service attendance was inversely associated with AUD (NH Whites β: −0.103, p < 0.001; NH Blacks β: −0.115, p < 0.001; Hispanics β: −0.096, p < 0.001). This association was more robust for NH Blacks as compared with NH Whites and Hispanics (interaction β: 0.025, p < 0.001). Among NH Whites, higher intrinsic religiosity was inversely associated with alcohol use frequency (β: −0.143, p < 0.001). These effects were more robust among NH Whites (interaction (β: 0.072, p < 0.033) than for NH Blacks (β: −0.080, p > 0.05) or Hispanics (β: −0.002, p > 0.05).
US adults reporting greater public religiosity were at lower risk for AUD. Public religiosity may be particularly important among NH Blacks, while intrinsic religiosity may be particularly important among NH Whites, and among Hispanics who frequently attend religious services. Findings may be explained by variation in drinking-related norms observed among these groups generally, and in the context of specific religious institutions.
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. Religiosity is a factor that may help cancer patients to cope with their disease. The aim of the current study was to validate a Persian translation of the Muslim Religiosity Scale (MRS) in a population of Iranian patients with cancer.
Two thousand patients were invited to participate in this multisite study, of whom 1,879 participated. Patients completed a demographic questionnaire, the MRS, and several scales, including the Patient Health Questionnaire–9, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Perceived Social Support Scale, and the SF–12 quality of life measure. Backward–forward translation was employed to develop a Persian-language version of the MRS. Cronbach's alpha and two-week test–retest reliability were also assessed. Convergent and discriminative validity as well as the factor structure of the scale were also examined.
The internal reliability (α) of the religious practices and beliefs subscales was 0.88 and 0.92, respectively. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was 0.92 (range = 0.75–1.0). The scale demonstrated solid convergent and discriminative validity. Factor analysis indicated two main factors, as predicted, with an appropriate goodness of fit (χ2 = 76.23, RMSEA = 0.065). Such factors as marital status, quality of life, social support, and self-efficacy were positively associated with MRS total score, while anxiety, depression, and suicide ideation had negative associations.
Significance of results:
The MRS is a useful tool for assessing religiosity in Iranian patients with cancer and is associated with a number of important health outcomes.
Background: It has been suggested that magical thinking is related to both obsessions and compulsions in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Recent studies have indicated the significant relationship between level of religiosity and beliefs about the importance and need to control unwanted thoughts in OCD. People also use diverse strategies to control their unwanted thoughts. Aims: The present study aimed to examine the interrelationships between magical thinking and worry and punishment as thought-control strategies in mediating the relationship between religiosity and obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms in a Turkish sample. Methods: The sample of the present study was comprised of 179 non-clinical, community-based participants who completed measures of OC symptoms (measured with the Obsessive Compulsive Inventory — Revised), magical thinking (measured with the Magical Ideation Scale), religiosity, and thought-control strategies (measured with the Thought Control Questionnaire). Results: Both worry and punishment as thought-control strategies and magical thinking mediated the links between religiosity and OC symptoms. Furthermore, the relationship between religiosity and OC symptoms was mediated by magical thinking through punishment and worry. Conclusions: Findings pointing out the mediating role of magical thinking through punishment and worry in the relationship between religiosity and OC symptoms are novel and need to be replicated in future studies.
The integration of work ethic theories with religious beliefs and Hofstede’s national culture typology implies that Islamic work ethics peculiarly support social symbiosis and collectivism. On the contrary, present globalized workplace is pragmatically driven by individualism. To sort out these concerns, this cross-cultural study links Islamic work ethics to individualism at globalized workplace and examines the moderating influence of employee religiosity and nationality. A stratified sample of 307 employees from leading multinational corporations operating in United States, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and Pakistan participated in the study. The study found a strong positive relationship between Islamic work ethics and individualism, and no significant interaction effect of employee nationality and religiosity was observed. Together, the findings suggest that Islamic work ethics advocate a great deal of individualism, and can benefit the multinational corporations in managing their diversified workforce with a view to get maximum advantage of the opportunities offered by globalization.
Despite the extensive literature assessing associations between religiosity/spirituality and health, few studies have investigated the clinical applicability of this evidence. The purpose of this paper was to assess the impact of religious/spiritual interventions (RSI) through randomized clinical trials (RCTs).
A systematic review was performed in the following databases: PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, PsycINFO, Cochrane Collaboration, Embase and SciELO. Through the use of a Boolean expression, articles were included if they: (i) investigated mental health outcomes; (ii) had a design consistent with RCTs. We excluded protocols involving intercessory prayer or distance healing. The study was conducted in two phases by reading: (1) title and abstracts; (2) full papers and assessing their methodological quality. Then, a meta-analysis was carried out.
Through this method, 4751 papers were obtained, of which 23 remained included. The meta-analysis showed significant effects of RSI on anxiety general symptoms (p < 0.001) and in subgroups: meditation (p < 0.001); psychotherapy (p = 0.02); 1 month of follow-up (p < 0.001); and comparison groups with interventions (p < 0.001). Two significant differences were found in depressive symptoms: between 1 and 6 months and comparison groups with interventions (p = 0.05). In general, studies have shown that RSI decreased stress, alcoholism and depression.
RCTs on RSI showed additional benefits including reduction of clinical symptoms (mainly anxiety). The diversity of protocols and outcomes associated with a lack of standardization of interventions point to the need for further studies evaluating the use of religiosity/spirituality as a complementary treatment in health care.
Drawing on expectancy theory and the socioemotional wealth (SEW) perspective, we propose that family owners with intrafamily succession intention are more motivated to accumulate or preserve SEW. As corporate philanthropy is a critical way for family-controlled firms to accumulate or maintain SEW, family owners with intrafamily succession intention are more likely to engage in corporate philanthropic activities. Data on a nationally representative sample of family-controlled firms in China support our prediction. We also find that the relationship between intrafamily succession intention and corporate philanthropy is moderated by family owners’ social status and religiosity. The findings contribute to our understanding about family businesses, in general, and those in China, in particular, as well as the SEW perspective.
The potential influence of patient religious and spiritual beliefs on the approach to end-of-life care and resuscitation status preferences is not well understood. The aim of this study was to assess the association between religiosity and resuscitation preferences in advanced-cancer patients.
We performed a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial that evaluated the influence of physician communication style on patient resuscitation preferences. All patients completed the Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Questionnaire–Short Form (SCSRFQ–SF) and expressed their resuscitation preferences. We determined the frequency of resuscitation preferences and its association with intensity of religiosity.
A total of 78 patients completed the study. The median age was 54 years, with a range of 18–78. Some 46 (59%) were women; 57 patients (73%) were Caucasian, 15 (19%) African American, and 5 (7%) Hispanic. A total of 46 patients (56%) were Protestant and 13 (17%) Catholic. Some 53 of 60 patients who chose Do Not Resuscitate status (DNR) (88%) and 16 of 18 patients who refused DNR (89%) for a video-simulated patient were highly religious (p = 0.64). When asked about a DNR for themselves after watching the videos, 43 of 48 who refused DNR (90%) and 26 of 30 patients who chose DNR (87%) were highly religious (p = 0.08). The Spearman correlation coefficient for patients choosing DNR for themselves and intensity of religiosity was r = –0.16 (p = 0.16). Some 30 patients (38%) who chose DNR for the video patient refused DNR for themselves, and 42 who chose DNR for both the video patient and themselves (54%) were highly religious (p = NS).
Significance of Results:
There was no significant association between intensity of patient religiosity and DNR preference for either the video patient or the patients themselves. Other beliefs and demographic factors likely impact end-of-life discussions and resuscitation status preferences.
Research methods in both behavioral genetics and personality are currently at a crossroads. This chapter examines the disagreement about the genetics of behavior by reformulating its methodological foundation of twin and family studies. It applies the reformulation of older methods to gain realistic understanding of the newer ones that capitalize on the availability of measured DNA. The chapter highlights a particularly problematic aspect of scientific inference in the human behavioral sciences: the inference of causality from nonexperimental data. Religiosity was measured using four items (rated on four-point or five-point ordinal scale) assessing importance of religion, frequency of prayer, attendance at religious services, and attendance at youth groups. Random effects model was estimated in monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs using PROC MIXED in SAS. Linkage analysis has been the earliest molecular method to be adopted in the study of behavior because it requires minimal knowledge of actual genetic sequence.
Throughout the world people differ in the magnitude with which they value strong family ties or heightened religiosity. We propose that this cross-cultural variation is a result of a contingent psychological adaptation that facilitates in-group assortative sociality in the face of high levels of parasite-stress while devaluing in-group assortative sociality in areas with low levels of parasite-stress. This is because in-group assortative sociality is more important for the avoidance of infection from novel parasites and for the management of infection in regions with high levels of parasite-stress compared with regions of low infectious disease stress. We examined this hypothesis by testing the predictions that there would be a positive association between parasite-stress and strength of family ties or religiosity. We conducted this study by comparing among nations and among states in the United States of America. We found for both the international and the interstate analyses that in-group assortative sociality was positively associated with parasite-stress. This was true when controlling for potentially confounding factors such as human freedom and economic development. The findings support the parasite-stress theory of sociality, that is, the proposal that parasite-stress is central to the evolution of social life in humans and other animals.
Few studies have examined religiosity as a protective factor using a longitudinal design to predict resilience in persons at high risk for major depressive disorder (MDD).
High-risk offspring selected for having a depressed parent and control offspring of non-depressed parents were evaluated for psychiatric disorders in childhood/adolescence and at 10-year and 20-year follow-ups. Religious/spiritual importance, services attendance and negative life events (NLEs) were assessed at the 10-year follow-up. Models tested differences in relationships between religiosity/spirituality and subsequent disorders among offspring based on parent depression status, history of prior MDD and level of NLE exposure. Resilience was defined as lower odds for disorders with greater religiosity/spirituality in higher-risk versus lower-risk offspring.
Increased attendance was associated with significantly reduced odds for mood disorder (by 43%) and any psychiatric disorder (by 53%) in all offspring; however, odds were significantly lower in offspring of non-depressed parents than in offspring of depressed parents. In analyses confined to offspring of depressed parents, those with high and those with average/low NLE exposure were compared: increased attendance was associated with significantly reduced odds for MDD, mood disorder and any psychiatric disorder (by 76, 69 and 64% respectively) and increased importance was associated with significantly reduced odds for mood disorder (by 74%) only in offspring of depressed parents with high NLE exposure. Moreover, those associations differed significantly between offspring of depressed parents with high NLE exposure and offspring of depressed parents with average/low NLE exposure.
Greater religiosity may contribute to development of resilience in certain high-risk individuals.
This survey evaluated the influences of motivational functions, gender, age, and religiosity on two facets of volunteerism in Singapore. The two facets evaluated were length of service and fulfillment of duty commitments. One hundred and twenty-eight volunteers (Mage = 44.9 years; SD = 11.7 years; age range: 24–71 years) from a Singapore volunteer welfare organisation filled out 3 questionnaires: the Volunteer Functions Inventory (VFI; Clary et al., 1998), a questionnaire on facets of volunteerism, and a questionnaire on demographic data. Volunteer functions of these Singaporean volunteers were found to be similar to those of other cultures in the world. Values were the most important volunteer function. Age, frequency of worship, and volunteer functions were positively related to length of service. Volunteer functions were positively associated with fulfillment of duty commitments. No gender differences were found in the levels of volunteerism. The results suggested that the lower levels of volunteerism in Singapore might be the result of factors other than motivation functions. The result also highlighted that beyond motivational functions and demographics, other factors could influence facets of volunteerism.
The study’s purpose was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the short form of the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale (DSES) in an elderly French population. Two studies were conducted to examine the psychometric properties of the DSES. Results of factor analysis (studies 1-2) and confirmatory factor analysis (Study 2) indicated that the DSES can be conceptualized on a single general factor. The reliability of the DSES appeared to be satisfactory with good internal consistency (studies 1-2) and good temporal stability (Study 2). As expected, higher scores were correlated with good life satisfaction and good self-evaluation of health, but no correlation was found with depression. Study results provided preliminary evidence of the psychometric properties of the French translation of the DSES short version. This short version indicates the potential benefit of encouraging the spiritual aspects of life and could be used in a variety of health-related research.
The complex relationships between religiosity, spirituality and the risk of DSM-IV depression are not well understood.
We investigated the independent influence of religious service attendance and two dimensions of spiritual well-being (religious and existential) on the lifetime risk of major depression. Data came from the New England Family Study (NEFS) cohort (n=918, mean age=39 years). Depression according to DSM-IV criteria was ascertained using structured diagnostic interviews. Odds ratios (ORs) for the associations between high, medium and low tertiles of spiritual well-being and for religious service attendance and the lifetime risk of depression were estimated using multiple logistic regression.
Religious service attendance was associated with 30% lower odds of depression. In addition, individuals in the top tertile of existential well-being had a 70% lower odds of depression compared to individuals in the bottom tertile. Contrary to our original hypotheses, however, higher levels of religious well-being were associated with 1.5 times higher odds of depression.
Religious and existential well-being may be differentially associated with likelihood of depression. Given the complex interactions between religiosity and spirituality dimensions in relation to risk of major depression, the reliance on a single domain measure of religiosity or spirituality (e.g. religious service attendance) in research or clinical settings is discouraged.