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Religiousness and Religious Coping as Determinants of Stress-Related Growth

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As research focusing on stress-related growth proliferates, links between religion and growth are increasingly reported. However, little research has focused on the role that religious coping plays in subsequent growth from major stressful life events. Findings from three longitudinal studies that examined aspects of religiousness as determinants of stress-related growth, as well as the potential mediation by religious coping, are presented. Results suggest that the influences of religiousness on growth vary by sample and by type of stressor. Further, religious coping was found to mediate influences of religious orientations on growth for students and for older adults dealing with a variety of problems, but was unrelated to growth following bereavement in a second sample of students. Together, these studies provide support for the notion that religiousness influences growth in complex ways, only some of which are mediated through religious coping. Future research considerations are discussed.

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