Religiousness and perceived social support as predictive factors for mental health outcomes.
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Opole University
Dariusz Krok   

Opole University, ul. Drzymały 1a, 45-342 Opole, Poland
Submission date: 2014-07-22
Final revision date: 2014-09-11
Acceptance date: 2014-09-14
Publication date: 2014-12-29
Arch Psych Psych 2014;16(4):65–76
Aim of the study:
The study is to investigate predictive values of the religious meaning system, the centrality of religiosity and perceived social support for mental health outcomes. Although there is some evidence about associations of religiousness and social support with mental health, insufficient data exists to explain which dimensions of religiousness and social support are related to mental health outcomes.

Subject or material and methods:
Participants were 206 people (108 women and 98 men) randomly recruited in southern parts of Poland. Their ages ranged from 18 to 78 years, with a mean age of 38.6 years (SD = 16.44). All participants filled in the four questionnaires: The Religious Meaning System Questionnaire, The Centrality of Religiosity Scale, The Berlin Social Support Scales, and The General Health Questionnaire-28.

The religious meaning system and the centrality of religiosity showed negative links with the dimension of mental health called somatic symptoms. Actually received support was associated with better mental health, whereas need for support and protective buffering support were predictors of negative mental health outcomes.

The findings support the hypotheses that religiousness and social support are predictive factors for mental health outcomes, though their effects are rather moderate or weak. Both religion and social support can influence mental health by imbuing life with a sense of meaning and significance, and offering fellowship in times of stress and suffering.

Both religiousness and social support are associated with mental health outcomes, but the character of these associations depends on particular dimensions.