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Religiosity, social self-esteem, and psychological adjustment: on the cross-cultural specificity of the psychological benefits of religiosity

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Studies have found that religious believers have higher social self-esteem (Aydin, Fischer, & Frey, 2010; Rivadeneyra, Ward, & Gordon, 2007) and are better psychologically adjusted (Koenig, McCullough, & Larson, 2001; Smith, McCullough, & Poll, 2003) than nonbelievers. Is this relation true across cultures—which would attest to the robustness of religiosity as a wellspring of psychological benefits—or is it found only in specific cultures—which would attest to the relativism of religiosity and its embeddedness within a larger cultural
framework? The religiosity-as-social-value hypothesis sides
with the latter possibility.

The religiosity-as-social-value hypothesis posits that religiosity receives high social valuation in most societies
(Sedikides, 2010) and that, consequently, religious believers are highly valued members of most societies (Sedikides & Gebauer, 2010). Being socially valued is associated with psychological benefits (e.g., social self-esteem, psychological adjustment; Rokeach, 1973; Sedikides & Strube, 1997). The hypothesis predicts, then, that believers will enjoy more psychological benefits in cultures that tend to value religiosity more; alternatively, the less a culture values religiosity, the more likely it is that believers and nonbelievers will enjoy equivalent psychological benefits. Here, we report a study in which we tested this hypothesis.

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Gebauer, Jochen E., Sedikides, Constantine and Neberich, Wiebke (2012) Religiosity, social self-esteem, and psychological adjustment: on the cross-cultural specificity of the psychological benefits of religiosity Psychological Science, 23, (2), pp. 158-160. (doi:10.1177/0956797611427045). (PMID:22222220).

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e-pub ahead of print date: 5 January 2012
Published date: February 2012


Local EPrints ID: 210973
ISSN: 0956-7976
PURE UUID: 4ae928d7-1db7-41ca-9ab3-532c68f1b68c

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Date deposited: 17 Feb 2012 08:39
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 10:44

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Author: Jochen E. Gebauer
Author: Wiebke Neberich

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