Religious Coping Among Adults Caring for Family Members with Serious Mental Illness

Michelle J Pearce, Deborah Medoff, Ryan E Lawrence, Lisa Dixon
Community Mental Health Journal 2016, 52 (2): 194-202
This cross-sectional study investigated the use of religious coping strategies among family members of adults with serious mental illness. A sample of 436 individuals caring for a family member with serious mental illness were recruited into a randomized clinical trial for the National Alliance on Mental Illness Family to Family Education Program. Relationships are reported between religious coping and caregiving, care recipient, and mental health services outcomes. Religious coping was associated with more objective caregiving burden, greater care recipient need, less mental health knowledge, and less receipt of mental health services after adjusting for non-religious types of coping. At the same time, religious coping was associated with a positive caregiving experience and greater religious support. Religious coping plays an important role for many caregivers of persons with serious mental illness. Caregivers who use more religious coping may have an especially high need for mental health education and mental health services.

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