Date: 01 Oct 2011
Psychological Distress Among Religious Nonbelievers: A Systematic Review
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Studies of religious belief and psychological health are on the rise, but most overlook atheists and agnostics. We review 14 articles that examine differences between nonbelievers and believers in levels of psychological distress, and potential sources of distress among nonbelievers. Various forms of psychological distress are experienced by nonbelievers, and greater certainty in one’s belief system is associated with greater psychological health. We found one well-documented source of distress for nonbelievers: negative perceptions by others. We provide recommendations for improving research on nonbelievers and suggest a model analogous to Pargament’s tripartite spiritual struggle to understand the stresses of nonbelief.
Samuel Weber was a medical student at Baylor College of Medicine when he worked on this project.
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- Psychological Distress Among Religious Nonbelievers: A Systematic Review
Journal of Religion and Health
Volume 51, Issue 1 , pp 72-86
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Mental health
- Psychological distress
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Psychiatry, The Ohio State University, 1670 Upham Drive, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA
- 2. Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA
- 3. VA HSR&D Houston Center of Excellence, Houston, TX, USA
- 4. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX, USA
- 5. Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
- 6. VA South Central Mental Illness, Research, Education and Clinical Center, Houston, TX, USA