Beliefs about God, psychiatric symptoms, and evolutionary psychiatry.
The present study analyzed the association between specific beliefs about God and psychiatric symptoms among a representative sample of 1,306 U.S. adults. Three pairs of beliefs about God served as the independent variables: Close and Loving, Approving and Forgiving, and Creating and Judging. The dependent variables were measures of General Anxiety, Depression, Obsessive-Compulsion, Paranoid Ideation, Social Anxiety, and Somatization. As hypothesized, the strength of participants' belief in a Close and Loving God had a significant salutary association with overall psychiatric symptomology, and the strength of this association was significantly stronger than that of the other beliefs, which had little association with the psychiatric symptomology. The authors discuss the findings in the context of evolutionary psychiatry, and the relevance of Evolutionary Threat Assessment Systems Theory in research on religious beliefs.
Flannelly, KJ; Galek, K; Ellison, CG; Koenig, HG
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