Scholarly article on topic 'Relation between Quality of Image of God with Anxiety and Depression in College Students'

Relation between Quality of Image of God with Anxiety and Depression in College Students Academic research paper on "Psychology"

CC BY-NC-ND
0
0
Share paper
OECD Field of science
Keywords
{"Image of God" / Anxiety / Depression / "College Students" / "Iran ;"}

Abstract of research paper on Psychology, author of scientific article — Ali Akbar Haddadi Koohsar, Bagher Ghobary Bonab

Abstract Since college students are exposed to the variety of stressors that impact their psychological functioning, determining factors associated with psychological health of these individuals is an important research endeavour. The aim of the current research was to investigate the relationship between image of God with anxiety and depression in college students. To accomplish the stated goal 227 college students were selected by means of proportional sampling procedure. The Image of God Inventory (IOG, Lawrence, 1997) and Scales of Anxiety and Depression in Symptom Checklist90-R (SCL-90R, Deragotis et al., 1973) were administered on them. Analysis of data revealed that the magnitude of anxiety and depression can be predicted from the quality of images of God in college students. Moreover, data revealed that college students who had positive image of God were lower in anxiety and depression than college students who had a negative image of God. Authors concluded that positive image of God were associated with lower anxiety and depression in college students. Theoretical implication and practical application of the finding are discussed in the original paper.

Academic research paper on topic "Relation between Quality of Image of God with Anxiety and Depression in College Students"

SciVerse ScienceDirect PrOC6d ¡0

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 29 (2011) 252 - 256 —

International Conference on Education and Educational Psychology (ICEEPSY 2011)

Relation between quality of image of God with anxiety and depression in college students

Ali Akbar Haddadi Koohsar, M.A.a, Bagher Ghobary Bonab, Ph.D.b,*

aUniversity of Tehran, Faculty of Psychology&Education, Ale Ahmad Ave, Tehran, P.O.Box.14155-6456, Iran bUniversity of Tehran, Faculty of Psychology&Education, Ale Ahmad Ave, Tehran, P.O.Box.14155-6456, Iran

Received date here; revised date here; accepted date here

Abstract

Since college students are exposed to the variety of stressors that impact their psychological functioning, determining factors associated with psychological health of these individuals is an important research endeavour. The aim of the current research was to investigate the relationship between image of God with anxiety and depression in college students. To accomplish the stated goal 227 college students were selected by means of proportional sampling procedure. The Image of God Inventory (IOG, Lawrence, 1997) and Scales of Anxiety and Depression in Symptom Checklist90-R (SCL-90R, Deragotis et al., 1973) were administered on them. Analysis of data revealed that the magnitude of anxiety and depression can be predicted from the quality of images of God in college students. Moreover, data revealed that college students who had positive image of God were lower in anxiety and depression than college students who had a negative image of God. Authors concluded that positive image of God were associated with lower anxiety and depression in college students. Theoretical implication and practical application of the finding are discussed in the original paper.

©2011 PublishedbyElsevierLtd. Selectionand/or peer-review under responsibilityofDrZafer Bekirogullari.

Keywords: Image of God, Anxiety, Depression, College Students, Iran;

1. Introduction

Relation between psychological disorders and image of God has been investigated in numerous studies. Bowman and associates (1987) have studied image of God in women with a multiple personality disorders. They found that these individuals had conflicting and inconsistent image of God. Exline, yali, and Sanderson (2000) have discovered that individuals with depressive moods had a negative image of God. Schapp- jonker and colleagues (2002) have discovered that individuals with a borderline personality, Paranoid ideation and obsessive compulsive behaviours had negative image of God. Individuals with paranoid ideation, schizoid individuals, had a cold, distant, and unsupportive image of God in their minds. Individuals with an avoidant personality disorders, dependent, and obsessive - compulsive disorders had a punitive image of God.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +98-912-695-6577; fax: +98-21-882-54734

E-mail address: yamola280@yahoo.com (A.A Haddadi Koohsar), bghobari@ut.ac.ir(B.Ghobary Bonab).

1877-0428 © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Dr Zafer Bekirogullari. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.11.234

Braam and colleagues (2008a) in their study discovered that feeling dissatisfied with God was associated with despair, and depression, in adults. In this research negative image of God (believing in a punitive God) was strongly associated with feeling guilty and having psychiatric symptoms. Furthermore, data indicated that neuroticism was associated with fearfulness from God, anxiety and dissatisfaction of Him, while the better adjustment was associated with the supporting figure of God ( Braam and colleagues, 008b).

Schaap- Jonker and associates (2002), discovered that there was an association between negative image of God with depression (r = 0.303), and a negative image of God and anxiety (r = 0.442). In this study there was a significant negative relation between positive image of God, and global index of symptom severity in symptom checklist inventory (r = -0.395). Investigators also concluded that image of psychiatric patients in compare to normal people were more negative. These findings indicated that there was a significant association between mental health and image of God.

Individuals with a positive image of God were less anxious, and lower in hostility. Individuals with a negative image of God (i.e. perceiving God punitive) were more anxious, and were higher in their aggression toward others. These findings were repeatedly reported by Schaap- Jonker and associates (2008). Bradshaw and associates (2008) reported that a positive image of God inversely related to variety of psychological symptoms; among these symptoms they mentioned obsessive-compulsive behaviours that were higher in individuals with a negative image of God.

Flannelly and associates (2010) also investigated the relation between psychological disorders and image of God in the adult populations. They concluded that individuals with a positive image of God (i.e. individuals who perceive God closer to themselves who forgives their shortcomings) were lower in psychological symptoms and distresses. These researchers also found that in these individuals' obsessive-compulsive behaviours were lower, than others.

Newton and McIntosh (2010), who explored the relation between image of God and style of coping in parents of exceptional children, reported that positive image of God in these individuals were associated with more effective coping styles. Individuals with a positive image of God evaluated situations more positively.

Relation between mental health indexes and image of God has been reported by investigators repeatedly. Benson and spilka (1973) studied the relation between the quality of image of God and self- esteem in 128 students who were attending to catholic schools and concluded that students' self esteem was associated with their positive image of God. Their self-esteem was associated with their positive image of God. Moreover, individuals who had a negative image of God, their self- esteem was lower. Kirkpatrick (2005) has studied the relation between image of God and mental health, and discovered that positive image of God was associated with a higher mental health status. Kirkpatrick and shaver (1992) demonstrated that positive image of God was associated with life satisfaction, reduction in anxiety and depression, as well as amelioration of physical symptoms (Davis et al, 2003).

Mc Elroy and colleagues (1999) have discovered the association between image of God, depression, and mental health in the adult population. In this study individuals with a positive image of God were lower in depression and higher in mental health (Jahnson & Eastburg, 1992). Tisdale and associates (1997) have demonstrated that treatment of depression enhances personal adjustment of individuals, and increases the positive image of God as well.

Although research findings show that quality of image of God is related to individuals personal characteristics and their mental health status, most of these investigations have been conducted in the United States and European countries. Since people in Iran are different from Americans and European countries in terms of their cultural and religious backgrounds, investigating the relation of these constructs in individuals who live in Iran is necessary. This study fills the existing gap in the area.

2. Method

2.1. Participants

Population in the current study was consisted of 227 college students in Tehran and Iran Medical Sciences Universities. A proportional sampling procedure was utilized in this study and 227 college students between 18-25 years were selected. 53% of the participants were female, and 47% of them were male, 89% were single, 64% were shia Muslim, 56% were residing in Tehran (the capital city), and 26% were from other major cities. After preparation of assessment devices, questionnaires were administered on college student by a trained research

assistant. Permission of instructors was sought to distribute questionnaires at the end of their classes. All instructors that we contacted had a good cooperation. In general 227 individuals completed the questionnaires.

2.2. Measures

2.2.1. Anxiety and Depression Scales of Symptom Checklist - 90R (SCL-90R, Deragotis et al., 1973).

This symptom checklist is consisted of 90 items in which each item requires responding in degree of symptom intensity (from 1-5) in which he/ she have experienced during the past week. This scale-consisted of nine subscales (dimensions) including somatization, obsessive-compulsive disorders, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation, and psychoticism. In order to calculate the internal consistency of the scale, cronbach alpha coefficient has been used, and the results indicated that internal consistency for all subscales were at a satisfactory level. The maximum alpha coefficient was 0.90 for depression, and the minimum value was for psychoticism (á = 0.77). Stability coefficient that was computed for test-retest reliability in the interval of one week was between 0.87 and 0.90. In Iran, we obtained Cronbach alpha values for every dimensions (SCL90-R) and total of .88, .87, .81, .90, .90, .81, .76, .77, .82, and 97 for somatization, obsessive-compulsive disorders, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation, psychoticism, and full symptom checklist respectively (Ghobari Bonab & Haddadi Koohsar, 2011).

2.2.2. The Image of God Inventory (IOG, Lawrence, 1997)

The image of God inventory was used to measure individual's quality of image of God. This inventory had 72 items and six factors: influence, providence, presence, challenge, acceptance, and benevolence. This inventory measures individual's images of God in a Likert type scale. The alpha coefficient for each scale was 0.92, 0.92, 0.94, 0.86, 0.90, and 0.91 respectively. In Iran, we obtained Cronbach alphas values for every subscale of IOG .80, .41, .88, .51, .81, and 82 for influence, providence, presence, challenge, acceptance, and benevolence respectively (Ghobari Bonab & Haddadi Koohsar, 2009).

3. Results

The results have been presented in the following tables:

Table 1. Matrix of correlation between "image of God" with anxiety and depression in college students

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

1. SCL-90R-Anxiety -

2. SCL-90R-Depressi on 0.78** -

3. IOG-Influence -0.06 -0.12* -

4. IOG-Providence 0.02 -0.02 0.66** -

5. IOG-Presence -0.07 -0.14* 0.81** 0.72** -

6. IOG-Challenge 0.04 0.04 0.57** 0.56** 0.68** -

7. IOG-Acceptance -0.21** -0.25* 0.58** 0.46** 0.69** 0.42** -

8. IOG-Benevolence -0.07 -0.05 0.61** 0.44** 0.72** 0.64** 0.63**

** P < 0.01 * P < 0.05

Table 1 Shows that image of God is associated with anxiety and depression. Individuals showed an accepting image of God, were lower in anxiety and depression, and had a higher health status.

Table 2. Multiple regression analysis method to predict anxiety and depression from image of God

in college students

Variables Dependent Predictor R R2 F P B SEB ß

SCL90-R-Anxiety Acceptance Challenge 0.26 0.07 8.25 0.001 -0.37** 0.29* 0.09 0.13 -0.28 0.16

SCL90-R-Depression Acceptance Challenge 0.29 0.09 10.71 0.001 -0.59** 0.46* 0.12 0.17 -0.32 0.19

**P < 0/01 * P <0/05

As indicated in table 2 only acceptance and challenge image of God were significant predictors of anxiety (R2=7 %) and depression (R2=9 %). In other words anxiety and depression of students with accepting image of God were

lower than other students. Moreover, anxiety and depression of students with challenging image of God were higher than other students. Inspecting beta analysis shows that acceptance can positively predict magnitude of anxiety and depression in students, while challenges having a challenging image of God were negatively associated with anxiety and depression.

4. Discussion

Current study investigated the relation between image of God with anxiety and depression in the college students. Investigators with utilization of image of God inventory (Lawrence, 1997) and anxiety and depression scales of symptom checklist90-R (Deragotis et al,1973) conducted this study on college students. Multiple regression analysis showed that magnitude of anxiety and depression can be predicted by their images of God. Students who had a positive and accepting image of God were lower in anxiety and depression disorders; whereas, students with challenging and negative images of God were higher in anxiety and depression disorders. Since the origin of anxiety and depression relates to individuals' anxious attachment, finding these results were not far from expectation (Kirkpatrick, 2005).

Schaap-Jonker and associates (2002) demonstrated that image of God in individuals was associated with a borderline and avoidant personality. Individuals with anxiety and depression disorders often hold a negative image of God. The result of the study showed that to the extent that individuals' psychological distress becomes intense, their image of God becomes more negative. These studies show that individuals' psychological and health status including anxiety and depression are closely related to their image of God. These findings are consistent with the results of the current study.

Flannelly and associates (2010) has investigated the relation between anxiety and depression and image of God and concluded that individuals with a positive image of God (i.e. believing in supporting and forgiving God who is available for individuals in times of distress) were lower in obsessive -compulsive behaviours. Review of literature show that magnitude of anxiety and depression are associated with negative images of God. Current study has implications for prevention, and interventions of psychological problems in individuals. Planning to improve individuals' image of God yields to improvement in their health status.

References

Benson, P. & Spilka, B. (1973). God image as a function of self esteem and locus of control, Journal for the dsiecti. s Study of Religion, 12, 297310.

Bowman, E. S., Coons, P. M., Jones, R. S., & Oldstrom, M. (1987). Religious psychodynamics in multiple personalities: Suggestions for

treatment. American Journal of Psychotherapy,41,542-554. Braam A.W.;. Mooi B;. Schaap Jonker J;.van Tilburg W;D. J.(2008b). God image and Five-Factor Model personality characteristics in later life:

A study among inhabitants of Sassenheim in The Netherlands. MectalHealth, Religion & Culture. 11. No.6., pp.547-559. Braam A.W; Hanneke Schaap-Jonker b; Bianca Mooi c; Dineke de Ritter d; Aartjan T.F. Beekman a; Dorly J. H. Deeg (2008a). God image and

mood in old age: Results from a community based pilot study in the Netherlands. Health, Religion & Culture, 11, 2, 221-237. Davis, T. L., Kerr, B. A., & robinson-Kurpius, S. E. (2003). Meaning, purpose, and religiosity in at-risk youth:The relationship between anxiety

and spirituality.Journal of Psychology and Theology,31,356-365. Deragostis, L.R., Lipman, R.S., & Covi, C. (1973). SCL- 90: An out patient psychiatric rating scale-preliminary report. Psyshoparmasology Bulletin, 9, 13-27.

Exline, J. J., Yali, A. M., & Sanderson, W. C. (2000). Guilt, discord, and alienation: The role of religious strain in depression and suicidality.

Journal of Clinical Psychology, 56, 1481-1496. Flannelly, K.J; Galek, K; Ellison, C.G. & Koenig, H.G.(2010). Beliefs about God, Psychiatric Symptoms, and Evolutionary Psychiatry. J Relig Health. 49(2), 246-261.

Ghobari Bonab B, Haddadi Koohsar A.A ( 2011). Relation between quality of attachment and psychological symptoms in college students.

Prosedia-dosial and Behavioral Sciences, Acceptence. Ghobari Bonab B, Haddadi Koohsar AA ( 2009). Relations of anxiety and depression with image of God in college students. Journal of

Psychological Science. 8(31)297-314. Jahnson, W. B., & Eastburg, M. C. (1992). God, parent, and self concepts in abused and nonabused children. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 11, 235-243.

Kirkpatrick, l. A., & Shaver, P. R.(1992). An attachment-theoretical approach to romantic love and religious belief. Society for Personality and

Social Psychology, 18, 266-275.. Kirkpatrick, L.A. (2005). Attachment, evolution, and the pyshology of religion. New York, The Guilford Press.

Lawrence, R. T. (1997). Measuring the image of God: The God image inventory and the God image scales. The Journal of Psychology and

Theology, 25, 214-226.

Mc Elroy, Eileen Marie(1999). The effect of God image and religious coping on depression, well-being and alcohol use in college students.

Dissertation ABotyavt Interactional.

Newton, A. T. & Mcintosh, D. N. (2010). Specific religious beliefs in a cognitive appraisal model of stress and coping. International Journal for

the aoyvhology of Religion. 20:1, 39-58. Schaap-Jonker H; Elisabeth Eurelings-Bontekoe; Piet J. Verhagen; Hetty Zock. (2002). Image of God and personality pathology: an exploratory

study among psychiatric patients. Mental Health Religion & Culture, 5, 1, pp. 55-71. Schaap-Jonker H; Elisabeth H.M. Eurelings-Bontekoe b; Hetty Zock c; Evert Jonker (2008). Development and validation of the Dutch

Questionnaire God Image: Effects of mental health and religious culture. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 11, 5, pp. 501-515. Tisdale, T. C., Key, T. L., Edwards, K. J., Brokan. B. F., Kemperman, S R., Cloud, H., et al. (1997). Impact of treatment of God image and personal adjustment. And correlations of God image to personal adjustment and object relations development. Journal Psychology and Theology, 25, 227-239.