Journal of Undergraduate Research


intrinsic religiousness, positive mental health


David O. McKay School of Education




Religiousness has gained more attention in psychological research and literature in the past few decades (Allen & Heppner, 2011; Cervantes & Parham, 2005; Worthington et al., 2003). Richards and Bergin (1997) noticed a spiritual energy in the United States that has “created a powerful cultural demand for psychotherapists to be more aware of and sensitive to religious and spiritual issues” (p. 6). The burgeoning interest in religiousness has resulted in psychological researchers studying the effects of religiousness on mental health (Oldham, 2009), and have found varying results across time. Early research on the topic of religiousness and mental health, conducted in the 1970’s, suggested that religiousness had both a positive and negative effect on mental health. However, the most recent research suggests that the effect is more positive than negative (if negative at all).

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