Spiritual Struggles among Atheists: Links to Psychological Distress and Well-Being. Sedlar, A. E., Stauner, N., Pargament, K. I., Exline, J. J., Grubbs, J. B, & Bradley, D. F. Religions, 9(8):242, April, 2018.
Spiritual Struggles among Atheists: Links to Psychological Distress and Well-Being [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Religious and spiritual struggles (R/S struggles)—tension or conflicts regarding religious or spiritual matters—have been robustly linked to greater psychological distress and lower well-being. Most research in this area has relied on samples consisting predominantly of participants who believe in god(s). Limited research has examined R/S struggles among atheists, generally conflating them with agnostics and other nontheists. This study investigated the prevalence of R/S struggles among atheists and compared atheists to theists in two samples (3978 undergraduates, 1048 Internet workers). Results of a multilevel model showed that atheists experience less demonic, doubt, divine, moral, and overall R/S struggles than theists, but similar levels of interpersonal and ultimate meaning struggles. Correlation and regression analyses among atheists demonstrated links between moral, ultimate meaning, and overall R/S struggles and greater distress (depression and anxiety symptoms) as well as lower well-being (life satisfaction and meaning in life). Even after controlling neuroticism, ultimate meaning struggles continued to predict lower well-being and higher distress across samples; moral struggles also predicted distress independently. This study demonstrates the relevance of R/S struggles to atheists and reinforces the applicability of previous results to atheist samples, but also highlights substantial differences between atheists and theists in certain R/S struggles.
@article{sedlar_spiritual_2018,
	title = {Spiritual {Struggles} among {Atheists}: {Links} to {Psychological} {Distress} and {Well}-{Being}},
	volume = {9},
	copyright = {All rights reserved},
	issn = {2077-1444},
	shorttitle = {Spiritual {Struggles} among {Atheists}},
	url = {http://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/9/8/242},
	doi = {10.3390/rel9080242},
	abstract = {Religious and spiritual struggles (R/S struggles)—tension or conflicts regarding religious or spiritual matters—have been robustly linked to greater psychological distress and lower well-being. Most research in this area has relied on samples consisting predominantly of participants who believe in god(s). Limited research has examined R/S struggles among atheists, generally conflating them with agnostics and other nontheists. This study investigated the prevalence of R/S struggles among atheists and compared atheists to theists in two samples (3978 undergraduates, 1048 Internet workers). Results of a multilevel model showed that atheists experience less demonic, doubt, divine, moral, and overall R/S struggles than theists, but similar levels of interpersonal and ultimate meaning struggles. Correlation and regression analyses among atheists demonstrated links between moral, ultimate meaning, and overall R/S struggles and greater distress (depression and anxiety symptoms) as well as lower well-being (life satisfaction and meaning in life). Even after controlling neuroticism, ultimate meaning struggles continued to predict lower well-being and higher distress across samples; moral struggles also predicted distress independently. This study demonstrates the relevance of R/S struggles to atheists and reinforces the applicability of previous results to atheist samples, but also highlights substantial differences between atheists and theists in certain R/S struggles.},
	language = {en},
	number = {8},
	urldate = {2018-08-17},
	journal = {Religions},
	author = {Sedlar, Aaron E. and Stauner, Nick and Pargament, Kenneth I. and Exline, Julie J. and Grubbs, Joshua B and Bradley, David F.},
	month = apr,
	year = {2018},
	pages = {242},
}

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