Religiosity and psychological well-being in South Asian Muslim women
University of Southampton, Psychology,
Religiosity has been researched in relation to psychological well-being through assessing cognitive and behavioural components of religion (e.g. prayer). The lack of consensus in defining and measuring religiosity is a complex matter. Different forms of religiosity are measured in relation to positive and negative psychological well-being. The literature review identifies orthodoxy and spirituality as two forms of religiosity. Research is examined in detail to establish how orthodoxy relates to negative well-being whereas, spirituality associates with positive well-being. Shame is a distressing emotion that involves negative evaluations of the self. Whereas, self-compassion is contrasted in that a positive relationship with the self is evident. Since shame and self-compassion are opposite constructs the prediction was that orthodoxy may relate to greater shame and lower self-compassion, whereas spirituality may associate with lower shame and greater self-compassion. The empirical research explored how both forms of religiosity; orthodoxy and spirituality relate to shame and self-compassion in South Asian (SA) Muslim women. The study’s qualitative component explored the conceptualisation of shame. The results show that orthodoxy and spirituality are related yet distinct entities. Greater shame associates with lower self-compassion. No significant association was detected between shame and both forms of religiosity. Orthodoxy negatively correlated with self-compassion. That is a unique finding since this had never been researched previously. The qualitative component enabled the development of a process model for shame experience pertinent to this population that may be relevant for clinical practice. Implications of these findings, the study’s limitations and recommendations for future research are debated.
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