Title

A longitudinal analysis of the role of religious appraisals and religious coping in adults' adjustment to divorce

Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Psychology/Clinical

First Advisor

Annette Mahoney, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kenneth Pargament, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Jennifer Gillespie, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Judith Jackson May, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Abstract

This study longitudinally examined the role of religious appraisals and religious coping for adults' psychological, interpersonal, and spiritual adjustment to divorce. Eighty-nine participants completed measures within six months of filing for divorce and one year later. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that participants' religious appraisals of divorce and religious coping methods predicted change in some measures of participants' psychological, interpersonal, and spiritual adjustment. In addition, regression analyses indicated that positive and negative religious coping methods offered some unique benefit and risk, respectively, to individuals' post-divorce adjustment over time, above similar non-religious coping methods. Finally, mediational analyses indicated that positive and negative religious coping methods mediated links between religious appraisals of divorce and post-divorce adjustment. This study is the first of its kind to provide longitudinal support that religion and spirituality are relevant to adults' adjustment to divorce.