Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Keith Beard, Committee Chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Dawn Goel

Third Advisor

Dr. Keelon Hinton


Numerous studies have established and examined the critical interplay between religion and mental health. A systematic review of existing literature found that the endorsement of religious beliefs and frequent attendance at religious services were routinely associated with greater physical and psychological well-being (Koenig, 2012; Tsaousis, Karademas, Kalatzi, 2013). Yet, history has shown that religion can be a source of conflict and prejudice and that individuals fostering negative religious perceptions can exhibit poorer mental health (Lee & Newberg, 2005; Pargament, 1997). Because religious and spiritual beliefs often guide perceptions and affect behavior toward others, the present study examines such influence as it pertains to the relationship between religiosity and mental illness stigma in the Abrahamic faiths. Three hundred and three participants provided general demographic information, information regarding degree of religious affiliation, and responses to the Centrality of Religiosity Scale -15 (Huber & Huber, 2012) and the Devaluation Discrimination Scale (Link, 1987). A regression analysis and one-way analysis of variance were completed to assess the relationship between levels of religiosity and levels of mental illness stigma and examine differences in stigma levels across faith communities. No significant results were found. Reasons and future research directions are explored.


Mental illness -- Religious aspects.

Psychology and religion.