Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 57, Issue 5, pp 1793–1807 | Cite as

Coping Mechanisms for Psychosomatic Symptoms among Aging Roman Catholic German priests

  • Carlos I. Man-GingEmail author
  • Eckhard Frick
  • Klaus Baumann
Original Paper


To identify and investigate coping mechanisms and other factors which may impact upon the psychosomatic symptoms of aging German Roman Catholic priests. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 499 aging German Roman Catholic priests with standardized questionnaires: Brief Symptom Inventory, Coping Inventory Stressful Situations, and Religious Coping Scale. Task-Oriented Coping exhibited a significant difference between the two groups. Multiple regression analyses indicated that psychosomatic symptoms could be best predicted by means of Task-Oriented Coping mechanisms, identification with priesthood, and by a low Negative Religious Coping. The success of adaptive coping processes for older clergy may depend on how they employ strategies, strengthen their spiritual dimensions, and manage important psychosocial aspects of aging. In our sample, Depression and Somatization are explained best by Emotion-Oriented Coping. It is desirable for aging priests to be aware of protective factors like Role Identification, Task-Oriented Coping, and low Negative Religious Coping, which may be helpful in improving their psychological well-being.


Aging priests Psychosomatic symptoms Depressive symptoms Coping mechanisms Religious coping 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

It was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos I. Man-Ging
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Eckhard Frick
    • 3
  • Klaus Baumann
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Palliative MedicineUniversity of MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Philosophical-Theological SciencesPontifical Catholic University of EcuadorQuitoEcuador
  3. 3.Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Spiritual Care Research Center, Medical SchoolTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  4. 4.Caritas Science and Christian Social Work, Faculty of TheologyAlbert-Ludwig UniversityFreiburgGermany

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