Gila Frank


The purposes of this study were to: (1) examine the use of religious/spiritual coping by emerging adults coping with perceived life stressors; (2) assess the relationship between positive and negative forms of religious coping, and overall religious/spiritual coping with perceived stress; and (3) identify the specific religious/spiritual coping behaviors used by emerging adults when in times of perceived stress. The study analyzed self-report data collected from 715 emerging adults from a diverse undergraduate public university in California. Frequency analysis indicated that emerging adults commonly use prayer for self and others, count their blessings, and try not to sin when under moments of stress. Additionally, many of the respondents reported frequently seeking G-d's love and care, asking for forgiveness for sins, and meaning making as a means of coping with stress. Zero-order correlations revealed a positive and significant relationship between negative religious coping and perceived stress. Furthermore, when comparing differences between religious views (conflicted, secure, doubting, seeking, and not interested) t-test results found decreased use of religious coping, spiritual coping and positive religious coping for those who endorsed "conflicted" religious views. Conversely, those who indicated feeling "secure" reported higher use of religious coping, spiritual coping, and positive religious coping. Emerging adults who identified themselves as "doubting" were less likely to use of religious coping, spiritual coping, and positive religious coping and reported greater use of negative religious coping. "Seeking" emerging adults, identified using less spiritual coping. Finally, those who endorsed "not interested" reported less use of religious coping, spiritual coping, and positive and negative religious coping. Clinical implications for emerging adults and clinicians are discussed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Stress (Psychology); Adjustment (Psychology); Psychology and religion

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Shafranske, Edward;