Scholarly article on topic 'Relation Between Quality of Image of God and Mental Health in College Students'

Relation Between Quality of Image of God and Mental Health in College Students Academic research paper on "Psychology"

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

Abstract Since in 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 mental health in college students. To accomplish the stated goal 197 college students were selected by means of proportional sampling procedure. The Image of God Inventory (IOG, Lawrence, 1997) and Symptom Checklist90-R (SCL-90R, Deragotis et al., 1973) were administered on them. Analysis of data revealed that the magnitude of mental health can be predicted from the quality of images of God in college students. Moreover, data revealed that college students who had a positive image of God were higher in mental health than in college students who had a negative image of God. Authors concluded that positive image of God were associated with higher mental health 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 and Mental Health in College Students"

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 29 (2011) 247 - 251

International Conference on Education and Educational Psychology (ICEEPSY 2011)

Relation between quality of image of God and mental health

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 in 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 mental health in college students. To accomplish the stated goal 197 college students were selected by means of proportional sampling procedure. The Image of God Inventory (IOG, Lawrence, 1997) and Symptom Checklist90-R (SCL-90R, Deragotis et al., 1973) were administered on them. Analysis of data revealed that the magnitude of mental health can be predicted from the quality of images of God in college students. Moreover, data revealed that college students who had a positive image of God were higher in mental health than in college students who had a negative image of God. Authors concluded that positive image of God were associated with higher mental health in college students. Theoretical implication and practical application of the finding are discussed in the original paper. © 2011 Published byElsevier Ltd.Selectionand/orpeer-reviewunder responsibilityof DrZaferBekirogullari.

Keywords: Image of God; Mental Health; 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 personality, 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.2011.11.233

AUAkbarHaddadihoohserGndBagher GhobPry Bonab/Procedia- Social and Behavioral (2iences29 (20011) 247 - 251

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 and mental health. In this study there was a significant negative relation between 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 were 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. In addition, 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 these researchers 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. In other study 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, in another study (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. Partiripaato

Population in the current study was consisted of 197 college students in Tehran and Iran Medical Sciences Universities. A proportional sampling procedure was utilized in this study and 197 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

Ali Akbar Haddadi Koohsar and Bagher Ghobary Bonab/Procedía - Social ami Behavioral Sciences29 (2011)207 - 251 249

shia Muslim, In this study 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. Permissions of instructors were sought to distribute questionnaires at the end of their chasses. All instructors that we contacted had a good cooperation. In general, 197 individuals completed the questionnaires.

2.2. Mrrruerr

e.e.2. Thr Symptom Checklist - 90R CSCL-90R, Drergatir rt ml., 29 73).

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 subscale (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 alphas 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. Thr Imrgr af asdIoirotaeG (IOa, Lrwerobr, 2997)

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 (IOG) of .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 multiple correlation between "image of God" and mental health in college students

1 2 3 4 5 6

1. SCL-90R-GSI -

2. IOG-Influence -0.07 -

3. IOG-Providence 0.01 0.66** -

4. IOG-Presence -0.07 0.82** 0.72** -

5. IOG-Challenge 0.04 0.57** 0.54*** 0.69** -

6. IOG-Acceptance -0.25* * 0.58** 0.45** 0.67** 0.40*** -

7. IOG-Benevolence -0.06 0.61** 0.43** 0.72** 0.64'** 0.62'**

** P < 0.01 * P < 0.05

Table 1 Shows that image of God is associated with mental health. Individuals who show an accepting image of God, were higher in mental health.

Table 2. Multiple regression analysis method to predict mental health from image of God in college students

Variables R R2 F P B SEB P

Dependent Predictor

SCL90-R- GSI acceptance 0.31 0.10 10.37 0.001 - 3.81** 0.84 -0.40

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

As indicated in table 2 acceptance and benevolence were significant predictors of mental health (R2=10 %). In other words mental health in students with accepting image of God was higher than other in students. Moreover,

AliAkbarHaddadiKoohsarandBayheo Ghobaro Bonab/Proceaia- Social trad Behavioral Sciences29 (2011) 247 - 251

mental health in students with benevolence was higher than other in students. Inspecting beta analysis shows that acceptance and benevolence of images of God can positively predicts magnitude of mental health in students.

4. Discussion

Current study investigated the relation between images of God and mental health in the college students. Investigators with utilization of image of God inventory (Lawrence, 1997) and symptom checklist- 90R (Deragotis et al,1973) conducted this study on college students. Multiple regression analysis showed that magnitude of mental health can be predicted by their images of God. Students who had a positive and accepting image of God were higher in mental health. Since the origin of mental health relates to individuals' anxiety, finding these results was not far from expectation (Kirkpatrick, 2005).

Schaap-Jonker and associates (2002) demonstrated that image of God in individuals was associated with personality characteristics of individuals with a borderline and avoidant personality. Paranoid ideation and obsessive- compulsive 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 become more negative. These studies show that individuals' psychological and health status including obsessive - compulsive behaviours 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 obsessive compulsive disorders 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 mental health is 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

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