Next Article in Journal
The Experience of Victimisation among Muslim Adolescents in the UK: The Effect of Psychological and Religious Factors
Previous Article in Journal
“Holiness, War, and Peace”: Ancient Jewish Traditions Concerning the Landscape and Ecology of Jerusalem and Its Environs in the Second Temple Period
Article Menu
Issue 8 (August) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Religions 2018, 9(8), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9080242

Spiritual Struggles among Atheists: Links to Psychological Distress and Well-Being

1
Psychology Department, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA
2
Department of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 4 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [339 KB, uploaded 10 August 2018]

Abstract

Religious and spiritual struggles (R/S struggles)—tension or conflicts regarding religious or spiritual matters—have been robustly linked to greater psychological distress and lower well-being. Most research in this area has relied on samples consisting predominantly of participants who believe in god(s). Limited research has examined R/S struggles among atheists, generally conflating them with agnostics and other nontheists. This study investigated the prevalence of R/S struggles among atheists and compared atheists to theists in two samples (3978 undergraduates, 1048 Internet workers). Results of a multilevel model showed that atheists experience less demonic, doubt, divine, moral, and overall R/S struggles than theists, but similar levels of interpersonal and ultimate meaning struggles. Correlation and regression analyses among atheists demonstrated links between moral, ultimate meaning, and overall R/S struggles and greater distress (depression and anxiety symptoms) as well as lower well-being (life satisfaction and meaning in life). Even after controlling neuroticism, ultimate meaning struggles continued to predict lower well-being and higher distress across samples; moral struggles also predicted distress independently. This study demonstrates the relevance of R/S struggles to atheists and reinforces the applicability of previous results to atheist samples, but also highlights substantial differences between atheists and theists in certain R/S struggles. View Full-Text
Keywords: atheism; religion; spirituality; depression; anxiety; spiritual struggles atheism; religion; spirituality; depression; anxiety; spiritual struggles
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Sedlar, A.E.; Stauner, N.; Pargament, K.I.; Exline, J.J.; Grubbs, J.B.; Bradley, D.F. Spiritual Struggles among Atheists: Links to Psychological Distress and Well-Being. Religions 2018, 9, 242.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top