COVID-19, Mental Health, and Religious Coping Among American Orthodox Jews

J Relig Health. 2020 Oct;59(5):2288-2301. doi: 10.1007/s10943-020-01070-z.


The COVID-19 pandemic presents potential mental health challenges, and the American Orthodox Jewish population has been particularly affected by the virus. The current study assessed the impact of the pandemic and explored the relationships between exposure, religiosity, and distress in a sample of n = 419 American Orthodox Jews. Results indicated high levels of exposure, concern, and compliance with medical guidelines; however stress was generally low and we found evidence for positive impact. Direct exposure correlated with higher religiosity. Positive religious coping, intrinsic religiosity and trust in God strongly correlated with less stress and more positive impact, while negative religious coping and mistrust in God correlated with the inverse. While the study is limited by its design, findings highlight that for some, faith may promote resilience especially during crisis.

Keywords: Coping; Crisis; Jewish; Mental health; Trauma.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections*
  • Humans
  • Jews*
  • Mental Health*
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United States