School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


William D. Bird


Religion, Spirituality, Religious Coping, Faith Maturity, Hope


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


As a consideration based in the psychology of religion and hope theory, correlations between religious coping and faith maturity are explored with particular focus on identifying hope as a moderating factor. With hypotheses that religious coping predicts faith maturity as moderated by hope, Snyder’s trait hope and state hope scales along with the Pargament’s Brief RCOPE and Piedmont and Nelson’s Faith Maturity Scale-Short Form, developed from Benson, Donahue, and Erickson’s larger Faith Maturity Scale, are employed via survey of an adult Christian convenience sample. The study is informed largely by Pargament’s work with use of religion, unique in comparison to spirituality, as a valid form of coping, both negative and positive, with stress response as well as Snyder’s progressive theories on hope, as distinct from other positive psychology postulations regarding optimism and religiously-based theories of eschatological or theological hope. A review of many often divergent conceptual constructs based on empirically-validated scales with statistically significant findings contributing to a robust but still growing and specialized domain of biopsychosocial research is undertaken with implications for client health and practitioner standards for care.

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