School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)


Rachel L. Piferi


work, stress, Christian spiritual coping




Stress is a common theme in today's work environment. Stress can positively and negatively impact an individual's ability to do work. It has been found that perceived stress at work can impact a person's physical, emotional, and mental state. Studies show a correlation between stress with anxiety, depression, work efficiency, and burnout syndrome. Christian spiritual/ religious coping is one of the significant ways people cope when faced with stress. Spirituality is the belief in a Supreme Being, and Christianity is based on the belief in Jesus Christ as God and the director of humankind. Christian-based spiritual coping with work stress is influenced by the perception of work as a vocation and a direct command from God. Studies have shown that stress and spirituality have an inverse relationship, and thus one's faith can be used as a predictor of how one is likely to react in a stressful work environment. While many studies have been carried out to explore the relationship between spirituality, religiosity, and coping, there is little research on how Christians apply their faith in the work environment. In this qualitative phenomenological study, the lived experiences with workplace stress and spiritual coping was examined in 12 Christian participants. Participants revealed that their faith plays a significant role in coping with workplace stress. Themes that emerged from the data were factors related to workplace stress, as well as psychological, behavioral, and spiritual strategies used to cope with stress. The faith practices that were most reported as helping participants cope with workplace stress were, Bible reading, church attendance, and inner-life connection. This research provides a better understanding of the lived experience of spiritual and religious coping with workplace stress among Christians.

Included in

Psychology Commons