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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


JONSSON, Catherina  and  LENCASTRE, Leonor. Trauma and religion: a psychological adaptation model based on religious coping abstract. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2016, vol.17, n.1, pp.32-38. ISSN 1645-0086.

Many models of traumatic stress are today focusing on the role of world and self beliefs as a cause of trauma symptoms. A way of restoring these beliefs is by positively re-appraising the meaning of the traumatic event through a process known as meaning-making coping. Religion can help in this process by providing beliefs that help in the understanding of suffering. However, empirical research has concluded that religion doesn't always lead to positive psychological outcomes, leaving us to question whether someone is better off or not using their religious resources to cope with traumatic events. In order to understand how religion can also lead to negative psychological outcomes, recent studies have suggested looking at the specific content of religious beliefs as they may shape the cognitive process including the perception of stress. Specific religious beliefs regarding the reasons for suffering; theodicies are one set of beliefs that has been surprisingly ignored. This paper therefore: 1) synthesizes the literature regarding theodicies by describing their role in the process of attributing meaning to a traumatic event, 2) describes how theodicies can interact with other beliefs we hold about the world and ourselves and how this may lead to individual differences in the coping response, and 3) proposes a psychological adaptation model based on religious coping which reflects the way that religion is used within the meaning-making process

Keywords : theodicies; trauma; religious coping; meaning-making; psychological adaptation.

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