School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Pamela Moore


prayer, prayer types, religious coping, stress


Social and Behavioral Sciences


African Americans face many stressors in their daily lives, including financial difficulties, crime and safety issues, perceived racism or discrimination, and physical health issues. Many African Americans use prayer to cope with stress. This study explored African American adults' belief in the efficacy of prayer, frequency of prayer, prayer types (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, and reception), and their association with stress levels. The theoretical frameworks used for this study were Pargament’s theory of religious coping, cognitive stress theory, and Vroom’s expectancy theory. This quantitative study used a cross-sectional survey design intending to provide counselors with information regarding prayer as a coping strategy for African Americans and how the belief in prayer is associated with stress levels when mediated by frequency of prayer and moderated by prayer types. Anonymous survey responses were analyzed using a simple mediation analysis and a moderated mediation analysis. Findings showed that belief in the efficacy of prayer has an inverse relationship with stress levels when mediated by the frequency of prayer. It was also found that none of the prayer types acted as a moderator for indirect relationship between belief in prayer and stress levels when the frequency of prayer was the mediator. However, thanksgiving, reception, and adoration prayers acted as a moderator for the direct relationship between belief in prayer and stress levels. Based on the results, belief in prayer is an effective coping mechanism for African Americans, and those who pray more frequently tend to have lower stress levels. It is also concluded that thanksgiving, reception, and adoration prayer reduce stress when combined with the belief in the efficacy of prayer.