The socially supportive functions of religion and spirituality
Clary, Michael D.
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Social support has been shown to be a significant protective factor in the lives of adolescents and has been linked to numerous health and psychological outcomes. Spirituality and religion have also been demonstrated to have similar effects on a host of outcomes. The current study further analyzed the link between these two constructs from a strong conceptual framework grounded in social support. The role of spiritual and religious support was examined through the addition of two novel sources of social support, higher power and religious community, which were added to an existing measure of social support. Analyses were conducted utilizing a total sample of 146 undergraduate students at Northern Illinois University. Results indicated strong psychometric properties for the modified social support measure, high levels of perceived social support from best friend/significant other and the higher power sources, relationships between specific types/content of prayer, and relationships between several sources of social support and psychological outcomes.