Religious coping and mental health outcomes: An exploratory study of socioeconomically disadvantaged patients

Michael M. Olson, Dorothy B. Trevino, Jenenne A. Geske, Harold Vanderpool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objective: This study was designed to investigate the association between religious coping and mental health in a socioeconomically disadvantaged population. Methods: Participants were selected as they presented for mental healthcare at a community health center for patients with little, if any, financial resources or insurance. A total of 123 patients participated in this study. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify religious coping predictors for mental health outcomes. Results: Positive religious coping (PRC) was significantly associated with and predictive of better mental health (P <.01). Conversely, negative religious coping (NRC) was found to be significantly associated with poorer mental health scores (P =.031) with gender, income, and ethnicity controlled for in the model. The relationship between NRC and inferior mental health outcomes was more robust than the relationship between PRC and improved mental health scores. Conclusions: This study illustrates the important association between PRC and NRC and mental health outcomes among economically disadvantaged patients. Interpretation of these findings and clinical implications are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-176
Number of pages5
JournalExplore: The Journal of Science and Healing
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Psychiatry
  • mental health
  • religious commitment
  • religious coping
  • socioeconomically disadvantaged populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analysis
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • General Nursing
  • Chiropractics


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