Psychosocial mediation of religious coping styles: a study of short-term psychological distress following cardiac surgery

Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2007 Jun;33(6):867-82. doi: 10.1177/0146167207301008. Epub 2007 May 4.


Although religiousness and religious coping styles are well-documented predictors of well-being, research on the mechanisms through which religious coping styles operate is sparse. This prospective study examined religious coping styles, hope, and social support as pathways of the influence of general religiousness (religious importance and involvement) on the reduced postoperative psychological distress of 309 cardiac patients. Results of structural equation modeling indicated that controlling for preoperative distress, gender, and education, religiousness contributed to positive religious coping, which in turn was associated with less distress via a path fully mediated by the secular factors of social support and hope. Furthermore, negative religious coping styles, although correlated at the bivariate level with preoperative distress but not with religiousness, were associated both directly and indirectly with greater post-operative distress via the same mediators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arousal*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / psychology*
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / psychology
  • Heart Diseases / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Postoperative Complications / psychology*
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Sick Role*
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*