The mediating role of spiritual engagement in the relationship between religiosity and religious coping. Cross-sectional study among polish students
Medical University of Lublin
The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
Data nadesłania: 14-09-2023
Data ostatniej rewizji: 07-10-2023
Data akceptacji: 08-10-2023
Data publikacji: 31-10-2023
Autor do korespondencji
Krzysztof Jurek   

The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
JoMS 2023;52(3):634–669
The aim of this study was to determine how spiritual engagement may mediate the relationship between an individual's religiosity and their use of religious coping strategies.

Material and methods:
A total of 342 students from two universities in eastern Poland participated in the study. The average age was 20.85 [95% CI: 20.607-21.095] years old. The data were collected using the two standardized scales: the Brief - Religious Coping Questionnaire (Brief RCOPE) and Spiritual Attitude and Involvement List (SAIL).

It was observed that positive religious coping strategies prevailed among the students surveyed. The highest-rated SAIL subscale was the Meaningfulness (4.65; 95% CI: 4.571-4.723), while the lowest was Transcendent Experience (3.28; 95% CI: 3.172-3.384). Significant positive correlations were found between the six areas of spirituality assessed by the SAIL scale and positive religious coping strategies. The results showed a significant total effect of religiosity on positive religious coping (beta=0,755; B=7.665;p<0.001; 95% CI: 6.30; 8.40).The direct effect of religiosity on positive religious coping was significant (beta=0,562; B=5.706; p<0.001; 95% CI: 4.85; 6.56). The effect of religiosity on positive religious coping was partially mediated by Transcendent Experiences and Spiritual Activities. The total indirect effect was 0.193 (95% CI: 0.125; 0.265).

The introducing aspects of spirituality and religiosity into higher education programs can help students of both medical and non-medical faculties to respond to the many difficult situations of daily life and move forward with a sense of achieving their designated tasks and goals.

Abu-Raiya, H., Ayten A., Agbaria, Q., Tekke, M. (2018). Relationships between Religious Struggles and Well-Being among a Multinational Muslim Sample: A Comparative Analysis. Social Work. 63, pp. 347–356.
Ano, G. G., Vasconcelles, E. B. (2005). Religious coping and psychological adjustment to stress: a meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61, pp. 461–480.
Astin, A. W., Astin, H. S., Lindholm, J. A. 2011. Cultivating the spirit: how college can enhance students’ inner lives. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Astin, A. W. 2004. Why spirituality deserves a central place in higher education. Liberal Education. 90, pp. 34-41.
Austin, P., Macdonald, J., MacLeod, R. (2018). Measuring spirituality and religiosity in clinical settings: a scoping review of available instruments. Religions. 9, 70.
Blumenthal, J. A., Babyak, M. A., Ironson, G., Thoresen, C., Powell, L., Czajkowski, S., Burg, M., Keefe, F. J., Steffen, P., Catellier, D., ENRICHD Investigators. (2007). Spirituality, religion, and clinical outcomes in patients recovering from an acute myocardial infarction. Psychosomatic Medicine. 69, pp. 501-508.
Boguszewski, R., Bożewicz, M. (2019). Religijność i moralność polskiej młodzieży – zależność czy autonomia? Zeszyty Naukowe KUL, 4, pp. 31-51.
Breland-Noble, A. M., Wong M. J., Childers, T., Hankerson, S., Jason Sotomayor, J. (2015). Spirituality and religious coping in African American youth with depressive illness. Mental Health, Religion and Culture. 18, pp. 330-341. https://doi: 10.1080/13674676.2015.1056120.
Casanova, J. (2008). Katolicyzm a sekularyzacja (tłum. Małgorzata Pasicka). Znak, 10, pp.74-89.
Choczyński, M. (2018). An institutional crisis of faith. The breakdown of systemic autopoiesis of the Catholic Church in the face of new spirituality. The Religious Studies Review. 4, pp. 16-28.
Connorton, E., Perry L. J., Hemenway D., Miller, M. (2011). Humanitarian relief workers and trauma-related mental illness. Epidemiologic Reviews. 34, pp. 145–155.
Cotton, S., Puchalski, Ch. M., Sherman, S. N., Mrus, J. M., Peterman, A. H., Feinberg, J., Pargament, K. I., Justice, A. C., Leonard, A. C., Tsevat, J. (2006). Spirituality and religion in patients with HIV/AIDS. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 21, pp. S5-S13.
de Jager Meezenbroek, E., Garssen, B., Van den Berg, M., Tuytel, G., Van Dierendonck, D., Visser, A., Schaufeli, W. B. (2012a). Measuring spirituality as a universal human experience: development of the Spiritual Attitude and Involvement List (SAIL). Journal of Psychosocial Oncology. 30, pp. 141-167.
de Jager Meezenbroek, E., Garssen, B., Van den Berg, M., Van Dierendonck, D., Visser, A., Schaufeli, W. B. (2012b). Measuring spirituality as a universal human experience: a review of spirituality questionnaires. Journal of Religion and Health. 51, pp. 336–354.
De Leon, J., Balila, E. (2014). Filipino adolescents’ coping strategies: A confirmatory factor analysis. Adventist University of the Philippines Research Journal. 18, pp. 73–81. Available online:
Egan, R., MacLeod, R., Jaye, Ch., McGee, R., Baxter, J., Herbison, P. (2011). What is spirituality? Evidence from a New Zealand hospice study. Mortality. 16, pp. 307–24.
Ellison, Ch. G. (1991). Religious involvement and subjective well-being. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 32, pp. 8–99.
Fabricatore, A, N., Handal, P. J., Fenzel, M. (2000). Personal spirituality as a moderator of the relationship between stressors and subjective well-being. Journal of Psychology and Theology. 28, pp. 221–228.
Ferriss, L. A. (2002). Religion and the Quality of Life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 3, pp. 199–215.
Ferrell, D. R. (2010). Pastoral Visit. Journal of Religion and Health. 49, pp. 138-139.
Ghorbani, N., Watson, P. J., Tahbaz, S., Job Chen, Z. (2017). Religious and psychological implications of positive and negative religious coping in Iran. Journal of Religion and Health. 56, pp. 477–92.
Ginting, H., Näring, G. Kwakkenbos, L., Becker, E. S. (2015). Spirituality and negative emotions in individuals with coronary heart disease. The Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. 30, pp. 537-545.
Głaz, S. (2016). Values as predictors of religious experience in the lives of seminary students of philosophy and students of physics. Journal of Religion and Health. 55, pp. 2099–2112.
Good, M., Willoughby, T. (2006). The Role of Spirituality Versus Religiosity in Adolescent Psychosocial Adjustment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 35, pp. 39–53.
Green, W., Noble, K. (2010). Fostering spiritual intelligence: Undergraduates growth in a course about consciousness. Advanced Development Journal. 12, pp. 26-49.
Greenway, P., Phelan M., Turnbull, S., Milne, L. C. (2007). Religious coping strategies and spiritual transcendence, Mental Health, Religion & Culture. 10, pp. 325-333.
Hall, S. E., Flanagan, K. S. (2013). Coping Strategies as a Mediator Between Adolescent Spirituality/Religiosity and Psychosocial Adjustment. Journal of Psychology and Christianity. 32, pp. 234-244.
Herzog, P. S., King, D. P. Khader, R. A., Strohmeier, A., Williams. A. L. (2020). Studying Religiosity and Spirituality: A Review of Macro, Micro, and Meso-Level Approaches. Religions. 9, 437.
Hussain, D. (2011). Spirituality, religion, and health: reflections and issues. Europe’s Journal of Psychology. 7, pp. 187-197.
Iddagoda, A. Y., Opatha H. H. D. N. P. (2017). Religiosity: Towards a Conceptualization and an Operationalization. Sri Lanki Journal of Human Resource Management. 7, pp. 59-69.
Jacobson, C. J., Luckhaupt, S. E., DeLaney, S., Tsevat. J. (2006). Religio-biography, coping, and meaning-making among persons with HIV/AIDS. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 45, pp. 39-56.
James, A., Wells, A. (2003). Religion and mentalhealth: towards a cognitive-behavioral framework. British Journal of Health Psychology. 8, pp. 359–376.
Jarosz, M. (2011). Scale of Religious Coping–short version (Brief RCOPE). In Psychological measurement of religiosity. Edited by Marek. Jarosz. Lublin: Scientific Association of the Catholic University of Lublin, pp. 293-316.
Jensen, L. A. (2021). The Cultural Psychology of Religiosity, Spirituality, and Secularism in Adolescence. Adolescent Research Review. 6, pp. 277–288.
Johnstone, B., McCormack, G., Pil Yoon, D., Smith, M. L. (2012). Convergent/Divergent validity of the brief multidimensional measure of religiousness/spirituality: empirical support for emotional connectedness as a spiritual construct. Journal of Religion and Health. 51, pp. 529-541.
Kadiroğlu, T., Güdücü Tüfekci, F., Kara, A. (2021). Determining the Religious Coping Styles of Adolescents in Turkey During COVID-19. Journal of Religion and Health. 60, pp. 3406-3417.
Kane, M. N., Jacobs, R. J. (2010). Predictors of the importance of spiritual and religious beliefs among university students. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought. 29, pp. 49-70.
Kapała, M. (2017). Spirituality as Underrated Aspect of the Psyche. Proposal for a New Approach to Spirituality in the Area of Psychology – the Spiritual Sensitivity Category. Annales UMCS sectio J. 30, pp. 7-35.
Kellehear, A.. (2000). Spirituality and palliative care: a model of needs. Palliative Medicine. 14, pp. 149-155.
Koenig, H. G. (2012). Religion, spirituality, and health: the research and clinical implications. ISRN Psychiatry. 2012, 278730.
Koenig, H. G., Pargament, K. I., Nielsen, J. (1998). Religious coping and health status in medically ill hospitalized older adults. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 186, pp. 513–521.
Kozak, J.. 2014. Postmodern children? A sociological study of students’ religiosity. Sandomierz: Wydawnictwo Diecezjalne i Drukarnia w Sandomierzu.
Krägeloh, Ch. U., Pei Chai, P., Shepherd, D., Billington, R. (2012). How religious coping is used relative to other coping strategies depends on the individual’s level of religiosity and spirituality. Journal of Religion and Health. 51, pp. 1137-1151.
Lee, S. A., Roberts, L., Gibbons, J. A. (2013). When religion makes grief worse: Negative religious coping as associated with maladaptive emotional responding patterns. Mental Health, Religion & Culture. 16, pp. 291–305.
Lucchetti, G., Koenig, H. G., Lucchetti, A. L. (2021). Spirituality, religiousness, and mental health: A review of the current scientific evidence. World Journal of Clinical Cases. 9, pp. 7620–7631.
Lucchetti, G., Lucchetti, A. L..Espinha, D. D. C., de Oliveira, L. R., Leite, J. R., Koenig, H. G. (2012). Spirituality and health in the curricula of medical schools in Brazil. BMC Medical Education. 12, 78.
Mariański, J. (2011). Polish Catholicism. Continuity and change. A sociological study. Krakow: Publishing house. Apostolate of Prayer.
Mariański, J. (2021). Scenariusze przemian religijności i Kościoła katolickiego w społeczeństwie polskim. Studium diagnostyczno-prognostyczne. Lublin: University of Social Sciences in Lublin.
Mariański, J.. 2022. Pluralizm społeczno-kulturowy jako megatrend a religijność i moralność. Lublin: University of Social Sciences in Lublin.
Moreira-Almeida, A., Koenig, H. G., Lucchetti, G. (2014). Clinical implications of spirituality to mentalhealth: review of evidence and practical guidelines. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria. 36, pp. 176–182.
Motak, D. (2010). Religia – religijność – duchowość. Przemiany zjawiska i ewolucja pojęcia. Studia Religiologica. 43, pp. 201-218.
Mount, B. M. (2003). Existential suffering and the determinants of healing. European Journal of Palliative Care. 10, pp. 40–42.
Narayanasamy, A. (2004). The puzzle of spirituality for nursing: a guide to practical assessment. British Journal of Nursing. 13, pp. 1140-1144.
Niewiadomska, I., Jurek, K., Chwaszcz, J., Wośko, P., Korżyńka-Piętas, M. (2021). Personal Resources and Spiritual Change among Participants’ Hostilities in Ukraine: The Mediating Role of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Turn to Religion. Religions, 12, 182.
Niewiadomska, I., Jurek, K., Siudem, A., Chwaszcz, J., Lelonek-Kuleta, B. (2022). Pomiar zasobów psychospołecznych uczniów. Toruń: Wydawnictwo Adam Marszałek.
Niewiadomska, I., Jurek, K., Chwaszcz J., Korżyńka-Piętas, M., Peciakowski, T. (2023). PTSD as a Moderator of the Relationship Between the Distribution of Personal Resources and Spiritual Change Among Participants of Hostilities in Ukraine. Journal of Religion and Health. 2, pp. 479-499.
Terreri, C. J., Glenwick, D. S. (2013). The Relationship of Religious and General Coping to Psychological Adjustment and Distress in Urban Adolescents. Journal of Religion and Health. 52, pp. 1188–1202.
Neely, D., Minford, E. J. (2008). Current status of teaching on spirituality in UK medical schools. Medical Education. 42, pp. 176–182.
Nolan, S., Saltmarch, P., Leget. C. (2011). Spiritual care in palliative care: working towards an EAPC Task Force. European Journal of Palliative Care. 18, pp. 86-89.
Ozcan, O., Hoelterhoff, M., Wylie, E. (2021). Faith and spirituality as psychological coping mechanism among female aid workers: a qualitative study. Jorunal of International Humanitarian Action. 6, 15.
Pargament, K. I., Mahoney, A. (2005). THEORY: sacred matters: sanctification as a vital topic for the psychology of religion. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. 15, 179–98.
Pargament, K. I., Falb, L. Ano, G. G., Wachholtz, A. (2013). The religious dimensions of coping, In The Handbook of the Psychology of Religion, Ebited by Raymund F. Paloutzian and Crystal L. Park, New York: The Guilford Press, pp. 560–580.
Pargament, K. I., Feuille, M., Burdzy, D. (2011). The Brief RCOPE: current psychometric status of a short measure of religious coping. Religions, 2, 51-76. Pargament, K. I., Smith, B. W., Koenig, H. G., Perez, L. P. (1998). Patterns of Positive and Negative Religious Coping with Major Life Stressors. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 37, pp. 710-724.
Pargament, K.I., Zinnbauer, B., J. Scott, A. B., Butter E. M., Zerowin, J., Stanik, P. (2003). Red flags and religious coping: Identyfing some religious warning sings among people in crisis. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 59, pp. 1335-1348.
Piedmont, R. L. (1999). Does spirituality represent the sixth factor of personality? Spiritual transcendence and the Five-Factor Model. Journal of Personality. 67; pp. 985-1013.
Preacher, K. J., Hayes, A. F. (2004). SPSS and SAS procedures for estimating indirect effects in simple mediation models. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers. 36, pp. 717-731. https://doi: 10.3758/bf03206553.
Puchalski, Ch. M., Vitillo, R. Hull, S. K., Reller, N. (2014). Improving the spiritual dimension of whole person care: reaching national and international consensus. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 17, pp. 642-656.
Puchalski, Ch. M., Ferrell, B. (2010). Making health care whole: integrating spirituality into patient care., West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Press.
Puchalski, Ch. M., Ferrell, B. Virani, R. Otis-Green, S. Baird, P., Bull, J., Chochinov, H., Handzo, G., Nelson-Becker, H., Prince-Paul, M., Pugliese, K., Sulmasy, D. (2009a). Improving the quality of spiritual care as a dimension of palliative care: the report of the Consensus Conference. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 12, pp. 885-904.
Puchalski, Ch. M. (2009b). Physicians and patients’ spirituality: ethical concerns and boundaries in spirituality and health. Virtual Mentor. 11, pp. 804-815.
Robinson-Edwards, S., Kewley, S. (2018). Faith-based intervention: prison, prayer, and perseverance. Religions 9, 130.
Quinn, J. (2008). Perspectives on spiritual development as part of youth development. New Directions for Student Leadership. 118, pp. 73–77.
Reed, P. G. (1992). An emerging paradigm for the investigation of spirituality in nursing. Research in Nursing & Health. 15, pp. 349-357.
Ross, K., Handal, P. J. Clark, E. M., Vander Wal J. S. (2009).The Relationship Between Religion and Religious Coping: Religious Coping as a Moderator Between Religion and Adjustment.Journal of Religion and Health 48: 454-67.
Ross, L., Giske, T., van Leeuwen, R., Baldacchino, D., McSherry, W., Narayanasamy, A., Jarvis, P., Schep-Akkerman, A. (2016). Factors contributing to student nurses’/midwives’ perceived competency in spiritual care. Nurse Education Today. 36, pp. 445–451.
Ross, L., McSherry, W., Giske, T., van Leeuwen, R., Schep-Akkerman, A., Koslander, T., Hall, J., Steenfeldt, V. Ø., Jarvis, P. (201)8. Nursing and midwifery students’ perceptions of spirituality, spiritual care, and spiritual care competency: A prospective, longitudinal, correlational European study. Nurse Education Today. 67, pp. 64-71.
Ross, L., van Leeuwen, R., Baldacchino, D. Giske, T., McSherry, W., Narayanasamy, A., Downes, C., Jarvis, P., Schep-Akkerman, A. (2014). Student nurses’ perceptions of spirituality and competence in delivering spiritual care: a European pilot study. Nurse Education Today. 34; pp. 697-702.
Salas-Wright, Ch., Olate,R., Vaughn, M., Tran, T. (2013). Direct and mediated associations between religious coping, spirituality, and youth violence in El Salvador. Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica = Pan American Journal of Public Health. 34; pp. 183–89.
Sarizadeh, M., Najafi, M., Mohammad Rezaei, A. (2020). The prediction of depression based on religious coping and the components of positive youth development in adolescents. Mental Health, Religion & Culture. 23, pp. 1–13.
Schnell, T. (2012). Spirituality with and without Religion—Differential Relationships with Personality. Archive for the Psychology of Religion 34, pp. 33-61.
Seybold, K. S., Hill, P. C. (2001). The role of religion and spirituality in mental and physical health. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 10, pp. 21–24.
Sherman, A. C., Simonton, S., Latif, U., Spohn, R., Tricot, G. (2005). Religious struggle and religious comfort in response to illness: health outcomes among stem cell transplant patients. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 28, pp. 359-367.
Silva, G. C. N., Reis, D. C. N., Miranda, T. P. S., Melo, R. N. R., Coutinho, M. A. P., Paschoal, G. S., Chaves, C. L. É. (2019). Religious/spiritual coping and spiritual distress in people with cancer. Revista brasileira de enfermagem. 72, pp. 1534–1540.
Sloan, R. P., Bagiella, E., Powell, T. (1999). Religion, spirituality, and medicine. Lancet, 353, pp. 664-667.
Steensland, B., Wang, X., Schmidt, L. Ch. (2018). Spirituality: What Does It Mean and to Whom? The Meaning of Spirituality among Americans. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 57, pp. 450–472.
Stroebe, M. S. (2004). Religion in coping with bereavement: confidence of convictions or scientific scrutiny? International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. 14, pp. 23–36.
Talik, E. (2013). The adolescent Religious Coping Questionnaire. Translation and cultural adaptation of Pargament’s RCOPE Scale for Polish adolescents. Journal of Religion and Health. 52, pp.143–58.
Tedeschi, R. G., Calhoun, G. L. (2004). Posttraumatic Growth: Conceptual Foundations and Empirical Evidence. Psychological Inquiry. 15, pp. 1–18.
Torralba, J., Oviedo, L., Canteras, M. (2021). Religious coping in adolescents: new evidence and relevance. Humanit Soc Sci Commun. 8, 121.
Vachon, M., Fillion, L., Achille, M. (2009). A conceptual analysis of spirituality at the end of life. J Palliat Med. 12; pp. 53–59.
Van Dyke, C. J., Glenwick, D. S. Cecero, J. J., Se-Kang, K. (2009). The relationship of religious coping and spirituality to adjustment and psychological distress in urban early adolescents. Mental Health, Religion & Culture. 12, pp. 369-383.
van Leeuwen, R., Schep-Akkerman, A. (2015). Nurses’ perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care in different health care settings in the Netherlands. Religions. 6, 1346-1357.
Visser, A., Garssen, B., Vingerhoets, A. J. (2017). Existential Well-Being: Spirituality or Well-Being? The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 205, pp. 234-241.
von Elm, E., Altman, D. G. Egger, M., Pocock, S. J., Gøtzsche, P. C. Vandenbroucke, J. P., STROBE Initiative. (2008). The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement: guidelines for reporting observational studies. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 61, pp. 344-349.
Wachholtz, A. B., Pearce, M. J. (2009). Does spirituality as a coping mechanism help or hinder coping with chronic pain? Current Pain and Headache Reports. 13, pp. 127-132.
Worthington, E. L. Jr., Hook, J. N.,. Davis, D. E., McDaniel, M. A. (2011). Religion and spirituality. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 67; pp. 204–214.
Wysocka, E. (2007). Religiousness of academic students as a determinant of the psycho-social functioning. Part I. Religiousness and the crisis experience in the valuation and its determinants. Christian’s Pedagogy. 20, pp. 55-72.
Zarzycka, B, Rydz, E. (2011). The selective relationship between religious dimensions and social desirability among Polish students. Mental Health, Religion & Culture. 14, pp. 411-422,
Zarzycka, B., Liszewski, T., Marzel, M. (2021). Religion and behavioral procrastination: Mediating effects of locus of control and content of prayer. Current Psychology. 40, pp. 3216–3225.
Zinnbauer, B. J., Pargament. K. I. (2005). Religion and spirituality. In The handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality. Ebited by R. F. Paloutzian, C. L. Park, New York: The Guilford Press, pp. 21–42.