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Explaining the relationship between religiosity and increased wellbeing avoidance of identity threat as a key factor.

Phillips, Rita; Connelly, Vincent; Burgess, Mark

Authors

Rita Phillips

Vincent Connelly

Mark Burgess



Abstract

Previous research outlines a relationship between religiosity and increased mental and physical wellbeing. However, to date findings from quantitative and qualitative research do not offer an unambiguous explanation for this relationship. The study addresses this gap in knowledge by examining underlying identity construction processes in relation to religiosity and wellbeing in the light of Identity Process Theory. Eight Christian converts from different deep-faith groups were recruited via purposive and modified snowball sampling. Detailed descriptions of first-hand experiences were collected by biographic-narrative interviews and analysed by Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The findings suggest that religious elements are integrated into identity content as these respond to a set of motivational principles of identity construction. In doing so, religious elements in identity content contribute to the avoidance of identity threat and to the maintenance of a positive identity structure. The adoption of health-promoting behaviours that relate to the application of beliefs (i.e. practice forgiveness, love oneself and the other, stopping excessive drinking) are consequences thereof and improve mental and physical wellbeing. In conclusion, the relationship between religiosity and wellbeing may be explained by the way in that religious elements in identity impact on identity maintenance process.

Citation

PHILLIPS, R., CONNELLY, V. and BURGESS, M. 2021. Explaining the relationship between religiosity and increased wellbeing avoidance of identity threat as a key factor. Journal of beliefs and values [online], 42(2), pages 163-176. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1080/13617672.2020.1799152

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 18, 2020
Online Publication Date Jul 31, 2020
Publication Date Jun 30, 2021
Deposit Date Aug 14, 2020
Publicly Available Date Feb 1, 2022
Journal Journal of beliefs and values
Print ISSN 1361-7672
Electronic ISSN 1469-9362
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 42
Issue 2
Pages 163-176
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/13617672.2020.1799152
Keywords Religious conversion; Identity process theory; Identity threat; Christianity
Public URL https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/960497