Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations

Caribbean Blacks And Acculturative Stress: The Moderating Role of Religious Coping

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Kenneth Pargament

Second Advisor

Sridevi Menon (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Michael Zickar (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Anne Gordon (Committee Member)


Prior studies indicate that religion is very important in the lives of Caribbean Black immigrants. This study (N= 146) explored the role of religion in the process of coping and adjustment among Caribbean Blacks as they adjust to life in the United States. More specifically, this study explored the relationship among stress (including acculturative stress), religious coping, and psychological outcomes among Caribbean immigrants. The result showed that religion and spirituality remain important for Caribbean Blacks living in the United States as they were while living in the Caribbean. Religious coping (both positive and negative methods) global stress, and acculturative stress were significant predictors of psychological outcomes. Religious coping moderated the relationship between stress and depression: as expected, negative religious coping exacerbated the effects of acculturative stress on depression. However, a surprisingly similar effect was found for positive religious coping. Implications for mental health service providers as well as limitations of the study are discussed.