The role of personal and communal religiosity in the context of bereavement

Eva Maria Stelzer, Roman Palitsky, Emily N. Hernandez, Eli G. Ramirez, Mary-Frances O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Religion and spirituality often become relevant after the death of a loved one. In light of the multidimensionality of religion and spirituality, we investigate the role of communal religiosity in predicting associations between personal religiosity and bereavement outcomes. A mixed-methods analysis of interviews and questionnaires from 33 bereaved adults was conducted. Interview mentions of personal and communal religiosity, and their associations with self-reported religious coping and grief symptoms, were assessed. Personal (β = 0.55, p <.01) and communal religiosity (β = 0.50, p <.01) predicted positive religious coping, as well as negative religious coping and grief severity (β = 0.53, p <.01). In addition, personal religiosity predicted more negative religious coping for participants who expressed low communal religiosity, β = 1.58, SE =.15, t(28) = 4.08, p <.001. After loss, personal religiosity by itself is not necessarily protective. The presence of personal and communal religiosity contributes to positive religious coping, and reduced negative religious coping. However, the absence of communal religiosity indicates vulnerability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Bereavement; death; grief; loss; religion; religious coping; spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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