RELIGIOSITY AND MEDITATION PRACTICE: EXPLORING THEIR EXPLANATORY POWER ON PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT
- García Campayo, Javier (Aragon Institute for Health Research (IIS Aragón))
AbstractReligiosity is a multidimensional construct that incorporates different domains, including ideological and devotional aspects such as religious beliefs and prayer, which might have an impact on psychological adjustment. Psychological adjustment could also be improved through the systematic cultivation of the contemplative practices of meditation, such as focused attention (FA), open monitoring (OM) and compassion meditation (CM), which could differentially affect psychological adjustment depending on the conditions of practice. The aim of this study was to assess the explanatory power of religious beliefs and the practice of prayer, FA, OM and CM on psychological adjustment, considering some practice-related variables such as total practice experience, session length, frequency of practice, and lifetime practice. Psychological adjustment was assessed by means of happiness, positive affect, depression, negative affect and emotional overproduction. A cross-sectional design was used, with a final sample comprising 210 Spanish participants who completed an online assessment protocol. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were performed, including age and sex in the first step, with the addition of religious beliefs and the practice of prayer, FA, OM and CM in the second step. The total practice experience of FA significantly contributed to improvement in happiness (β = 0.21; p = 0.023), and to the reduction of negative affect (β = -0.23; p = 0.012). FA session length was significantly related to all the psychological adjustment outcomes: happiness (β = 0.25; p = 0.001), positive affect (β = 0.17; p = 0.016), depression (β = -0.27; p < 0.001), negative affect (β = -0.26; p < 0.001) and emotional overproduction (β = -0.22; p = 0.002). CM practice frequency was significantly associated with happiness (β = 0.16; p = 0.048). Lifetime practice of OM was significantly related to decrements in emotional overproduction (β = -0.21; p = 0.028). Religious beliefs and prayer seemed to be less relevant than meditation practices such as FA, OM and CM in explaining psychological adjustment. The distinct meditation practices might be differentially related to distinct psychological adjustment outcomes, through different practice-related variables. However, research into other forms of institutional religiosity integrating social aspects of religion seems mandatory.
Update Metadata: 2019-03-03 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2019-03-03