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Religious Struggle and Psychological Well-Being: The Mediating Role of Religious Support and Meaning Making

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Institute of Psychology, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
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Institute of Psychology, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, 20-080 Lublin, Poland
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Institute of Psychology, Opole University, 45-052 Opole, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Religions 2020, 11(3), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11030149
Received: 27 February 2020 / Revised: 16 March 2020 / Accepted: 20 March 2020 / Published: 24 March 2020
Although a variety of studies have found robust links between religious/spiritual (r/s) struggle and poorer well-being, only a few have examined the means by which r/s struggle affects mental well-being. The present paper aims to examine religious support and meaning making as mediators of the relationship between r/s struggle and well-being. The study included 226 adults, 108 women and 118 men, aged between 17 and 78 years. We applied the Religious and Spiritual Struggle Scale, Religious Support Scale, Meaning Making Scale, and Psychological Well-Being Scale. The results demonstrated that both religious support and meaning making were mediators in the relationship between r/s struggles and well-being. During moral or demonic struggles, many people reportedly feel supported by their religion, make meaning based on these positive religious experiences, and in turn experience greater well-being. Conversely, during divine, ultimate meaning, and interpersonal struggles people may feel like God does not support them, which may lead to difficulties reframing their religious experience, and adversely influence well-being. The findings from this study underscore the multifaceted character of r/s struggle: during different types of r/s struggle people may feel that religion is a source of support for them or, by contrast, they may feel deprived of religious support, which can lead to an increase or decrease of well-being, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: religious struggle; spiritual struggle; religious support; well-being religious struggle; spiritual struggle; religious support; well-being
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Zarzycka, B.; Tychmanowicz, A.; Krok, D. Religious Struggle and Psychological Well-Being: The Mediating Role of Religious Support and Meaning Making. Religions 2020, 11, 149.

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