Strengthening Family Resilience Through Spiritual and Religious Resources

Chapter

Abstract

How do families not only survive but thrive when faced with adversity, hardship, loss, or trauma? What processes of endurance, growth, meaning-making, and healing are at the heart of resilience? Walsh (1998) defines resilience as “the capacity to rebound from adversity strengthened and more resourceful… the qualities of resilience enable people to heal from painful wounds, take charge of their lives, and go on to live fully and love well” (p. 4). Spirituality and religion can be significant resources in individual and family resilience. A spiritual or religious worldview provides beliefs, values, practices, and relationships that can strengthen resilience. These powerful forces also can increase suffering and block recovery, making it vital to understand their processes and influences on individuals and families.

References

  1. Altmaier, E., & Maloney, R. (2007). An initial evaluation of a mindful parenting program. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 63, 1231–1238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aponte, H. J. (2002). Spiritually-sensitive psychotherapy. In F. Kazlow (Series Ed.) & R. F. Massey, & S. D. Massey (Vol. Eds.), Comprehensive handbook of psychotherapy: Vol. 3. Interpersonal/Humanistic/Existential (pp. 279–302). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  3. Atkins, D. C., & Kessel, D. E. (2008). Religiousness and infidelity: Attendance, but not faith and prayer, predict marital fidelity. Journal of Marriage and Family, 70, 407–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Lykins, E., Button, D., Krietemeyer, J., Sauer, S., et al. (2008). Construct validity of the five facet mindfulness questionnaire in meditating and nonmeditating samples. Assessment, 15(3), 329–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barnes, S., Brown, K. W., Krusemark, E., Campbell, W. K., & Rogge, R. D. (2007). The role of mindfulness in romantic relationship satisfaction and responses to relationship stress. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 33(4), 482–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Benzies, K., & Mychasiuk, R. (2009). Fostering family resiliency: A review of the key protective factors. Child and Family Social Work, 14, 103–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bermúdez, J. M., Kirkpatrick, D. R., Hecker, L., & Torres-Robles, C. (2010). Describing Latinos families and their help-seeking attitudes: Challenging the family therapy literature. Contemporary Family Therapy, 32(2), 155–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Booth, A., Johnson, D. R., Branaman, A., & Sica, A. (1995). Belief and behavior: Does religion matter in today’s marriage? Journal of Marriage and the Family, 57, 661–671.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Brotherson, S. E., & Soderquist, J. (2002). Coping with a child’s death: Spiritual issues and therapeutic implications. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 13, 53–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brown, J., Cohen, P., Johnson, J. G., & Salzinger, S. (1998). A longitudinal analysis of risk factors for child maltreatment: Findings of a 17-year prospective study of officially recorded and self-reported child abuse and neglect. Child Abuse and Neglect, 22, 1065–1078.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Butler, M. H., Stout, J. A., & Gardner, B. C. (2002). Prayer as a conflict resolution ritual: Clinical implications of religious couples’ report of relationship softening, healing perspective, and change responsibility. American Journal of Family Therapy, 30, 19–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cain, D. S. (2007). The effects of religiousness on parenting stress and practices in the African American family. Families in Society-the Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 88, 263–272.Google Scholar
  14. Carlson, T. D., Erickson, M. J., & Seewald-Marquardt, A. (2002). The spiritualities of therapists’ lives: Using therapists’ spiritual beliefs as a resource for relational ethics. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 13(3/4), 215–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Carothers, S. S., Borkowski, J. G., Lefever, J. B., & Whitman, T. L. (2005). Religiosity and the socioemotional adjustment of adolescent mothers and their children. Journal of Family Psychology, 19, 263–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Carson, J. W., Carson, K. M., Gill, K. M., & Baucom, D. H. (2004). Mindfulness-based relationship enhancement. Behavior Therapy, 35, 471–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Carson, J. W., Carson, K. M., Gill, K. M., & Baucom, D. H. (2007). Self-expansion as a mediator of relationship improvements in a mindfulness intervention. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 33(4), 517–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Coatsworth, J., Duncan, L., Greenberg, M., & Nix, R. (2010). Changing parent’s mindfulness, child management skills and relationship quality with their youth: Results from a randomized pilot intervention trial. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19(2), 203–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Coffey, K. A., & Hartman, M. (2008). Mechanisms of action in the inverse relationship between mindfulness and psychological distress. Complementary Health Practice Review, 13(2), 79–91.Google Scholar
  20. Cohen, J. A. S., & Semple, R. J. (2010). Mindful parenting: A call for research. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19(2), 145–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Cordova, J. V., Gee, C. B., & Warren, L. Z. (2005). Emotional skillfulness in marriage: Intimacy as a mediator of the relationship between emotional skillfulness and marital satisfaction. Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology, 24(2), 218–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Cox, C. E., Kotch, J. B., & Everson, M. D. (2003). A longitudinal study of modifying influences in the relationship between domestic violence and child maltreatment. Journal of Family Violence, 18, 5–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Curtis, K. T., & Ellison, C. G. (2002). Religious heterogamy and marital conflict: Findings from the national survey of families and households. Journal of Family Issues, 23(4), 551–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dimidjian, S., & Linehan, M. M. (2003). Defining an agenda for future research on the clinical application of mindfulness practice. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 166–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Dumas, J. E. (2005). Mindfulness-based parent training: Strategies to lessen the grip of automaticity in families with disruptive children. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 34(4), 779–791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dumas, J. E., & Nissley-Tsiopinis, J. (2006). Parental global religiousness, sanctification of parenting, and positive and negative religious coping as predictors of parental and child functioning. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 16(4), 289–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ellison, C. G., Bartkowski, J. P., & Anderson, K. L. (1999). Are there religious variations in domestic violence? Journal of Family Issues, 20(1), 87–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Farb, N. A. S., Anderson, A. K., Mayberg, H., Bean, J., McKeon, D., & Segal, Z. V. (2010). Minding one’s emotions: Mindfulness training alters the neural expression of sadness. Emotion, 10(1), 25–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Feldman, G., Hayes, A., Kumar, S., Greeson, J., & Laurenceau, J. (2007). Mindfulness and emotion regulation: The development and initial validation of the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised (CAMS-R). Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 29(3), 177–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Fincham, F. D., Beach, S. R. H., Lambert, N. M., Stillman, T., & Braithwaite, S. (2008). Spiritual behaviors and relationship satisfaction: A critical analysis of the role of prayer. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 27(4), 362–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Freedman, J., & Combs, G. (1996). Narrative therapy: The social construction of preferred realities. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  32. Freud, S. (1927). The future of an illusion. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  33. Gardner, B. C., Butler, M. H., & Seedall, R. B. (2008). En-gendering the couple-deity relationship: Clinical implications of power and process. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 30(3), 152–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gilbert, K. R. (1992). Religion as a resource for bereaved parents. Journal of Religion and Health, 31(1), 19–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Greeson, J. (2009). Mindfulness research update: 2008. Complementary Health Practices Review, 14(1), 10–18.Google Scholar
  36. Grepmair, L., Mitterlehner, F., Loew, T., Bachler, E., Rother, W., & Nickel, M. (2007). Promoting mindfulness in psychotherapists in training influences the treatment results of their patients: A randomized, double-blind, controlled study. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 76, 332–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Griffith, J. L., & Griffith, M. E. (2002). Encountering the sacred in psychotherapy: How to talk with people about their spiritual lives. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  38. Haug, I. (1998). Spirituality as a dimension of family therapists’ clinical training. Contemporary Family Therapy, 20(4), 471–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Higgins, M. P. (2002). Parental bereavement and religious factors. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 45, 187–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hill, T. D., Burdette, A. M., Regnerus, M., & Angel, R. J. (2008). Religious involvement and attitudes toward parenting among low-income urban women. Journal of Family Issues, 29, 882–900.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hunter, J. D. (1983). American evangelicalism: Conservative religion and the quandary of modernity. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Jha, A. P., Stanley, E. A., Kiyonaga, A., Wong, L., & Gelfand, L. (2010). Examining the protective effects of mindfulness training on working memory capacity and affective experience. Emotion, 10(1), 54–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Jain, S., Shapiro, S. L., Swanick, S., Roesch, S. C., Mills, P. J., Bell, I., et al. (2007). A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation training: Effects on distress, positive states of mind, rumination, and distraction. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 33(1), 11–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1982). An outpatient program in behavioral medicine for chronic pain patients based on the practice of mindfulness meditation: Theoretical considerations and preliminary results. General Hospital Psychiatry, 4(1), 33–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Keeling, M. L., Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Ford, J., & Perkins, S. N. (2010). Partners in the spiritual dance: Learning clients’ steps while minding all our toes. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 36(2), 229–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Koenig, H. G. (1999). The healing power of faith. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  48. Koenig, H. G. (2005). Faith and mental health: Religious resources for healing. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Foundation Press.Google Scholar
  49. Koenig, H. G., McCullough, M. E., & Larson, D. B. (2001). Handbook of religion and health. Oxford: New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Krumrei, E. J., Mahoney, A., & Pargament, K. I. (2009). Divorce and the divine: The role of spirituality in adjustment to divorce. Journal of Marriage and Family, 71(2), 373–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Lau, M. A., & Yu, A. R. (2009). New developments in research on mindfulness-based treatments: Introduction to the special issue. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy: An International Quarterly, 23(3), 179–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lavender, J. M., Jardin, B. F., & Anderson, D. A. (2009). Bulimic symptoms in undergraduate men and women: Contributions of mindfulness and thought suppression. Eating Behaviors, 10(4), 228–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Lazar, S. W., Kerr, C. E., Wasserman, R. H., Gray, J. R., Greve, D. N., Treadway, M. T., et al. (2005). Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness. Neuroreport, 16(17), 1893–1897.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lee, J. W., Rice, G. T., & Gillespie, V. B. (1997). Family worship patterns and their correlation with adolescent behavior and beliefs. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 36(3), 372–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Mahoney, A. (2010). Religion in families, 1999-2009: A relational spirituality framework. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(4), 805–827.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Marler, P. L., & Hadaway, C. K. (2002). “Being religious” or “being spiritual” in America: A zero-sum proposition? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 41(2), 289–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Marks, L. (2006). Religion and family relational health: An overview and conceptual model. Journal of Religion and Health, 45(4), 603–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Marsh, R., & Dallos, R. (2000). Religious beliefs and practices and Catholic couples’ management of anger and conflict. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 7(1), 22–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Masten, A. (2004). Regulatory processes, risk, and resilience in adolescent development. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1021, 310–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. McEvoy, M., Lee, C., O’Neill, A., Groisman, A., Roberts-Butelman, K., Dinghra, K., et al. (2005). Are there universal parenting concepts among culturally diverse families in an inner-city pediatric clinic? Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 19, 142–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. McIntosh, D. N., Silver, R. C., & Wortman, C. B. (1993). Religion’s role in adjustment to a negative life event: Coping with the loss of a child. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65(4), 812–821.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Newport, F. (2010, May 21). In U.S., increasing number have no religious identity. Retrieved from Gallup, Inc. website: http://www.gallup.com/poll/128276/Increasing-Number-No-Religious-Identity.aspx
  63. Padilla, Y., & Villalobos, G. (2007). Cultural responses to health among Mexican American women and their children. Family and Community Health, 30(1S), S24–S33.Google Scholar
  64. Pargament, K. I. (1997). The psychology of religion and coping: Theory, research, practice. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  65. Pargament, K. I. (2007). Spiritually integrated psychotherapy: Understanding and addressing the sacred. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  66. Patterson, J., Hayworth, M., Turner, C., & Raskin, M. (2000). Spiritual issues in family therapy: A graduate-level course. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 26(2), 199–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. (2007, May). Muslim Americans: Middle class and mostly mainstream. Retrieved December 13, 2010 from http://religions.pewform.org
  68. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. (2008, February). U. S. religious landscape survey: Religious affiliation diverse and dynamic. Retrieved December 13, 2010, from http://religions.pewforum.org/reports
  69. Raes, F., Dewulf, D., Van Heeringen, C., & Williams, J. M. G. (2009). Mindfulness and reduced cognitive reactivity to sad mood: Evidence from a correlational study and a non-randomized waiting list controlled study. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47(7), 623–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Ramel, W., Goldin, P. R., Carmona, P. E., & McQuaid, J. R. (2004). The effects of mindfulness meditation training on cognitive processes and affect in patients with past depression. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 28(4), 433–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Regnerus, M. D., & Burdette, A. (2006). Religious change and adolescent family dynamics. Sociological Quarterly, 47, 175–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Reynolds, D. (2003). Mindful parenting: A group approach to enhancing reflective capacity in parents and infants. Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 29(3), 357–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Senter, K. E., & Caldwell, K. (2002). Spirituality and the maintenance of change: A phenomenological study of women who leave abusive relationships. Contemporary Family Therapy, 24(4), 543–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Shaver, P. R., Lavy, S., Saron, C. D., & Mikulincer, M. (2007). Social foundations of the capacity for mindfulness: An attachment perspective. Psychological Inquiry, 18(4), 264–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Siegel, D. (2007). The mindful brain. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  76. Singh, N. N., Lancioni, G. E., Winton, A. S., Fisher, B. C., Wahler, R. G., McAleavey, K., et al. (2006). Mindful parenting decreases aggression, noncompliance, and self-injury in children with autism. Journal of Emotional & Behavioral Disorders, 14(3), 169–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Singh, N. N., Lancioni, G. E., Winton, A. S. W., Singh, J., Curtis, W. J., Wahier, R. G., et al. (2007). Mindful parenting decreases aggression and increases social behavior in children with developmental disabilities. Behavior Modification, 31(6), 749–771.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Singh, N. N., Singh, A., Lancioni, G., Singh, J., Winton, A., & Adkins, A. (2010). Mindfulness training for parents and their children with ADHD increases the children’s compliance. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19(2), 157–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Snider, J., Clements, A., & Vazsonyi, A. (2004). Late adolescent perceptions of parent religiosity and parenting processes. Family Process, 43, 489–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Sparks, A., Peterson, N. A., & Tangenberg, K. (2005). Belief in personal control among low-income African American, Puerto Rican, and European American single mothers. Journal of Women and Social Work, 20, 401–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Turner, R. P., Lukoff, D., Barnhouse, R. T., & Lu, F. G. (1995). Religious or spiritual problem: A culturally sensitive diagnostic category in the DSM-IV. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 183(7), 435–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Wachs, K., & Cordova, J. V. (2007). Mindful relating: Exploring mindfulness and emotion repertoires in intimate relationships. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 33(4), 464–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Walsh, F. (1998). Strengthening family resilience. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  84. Walsh, F. (2003). Family resilience: A framework for clinical practice. Family Process, 42(1), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Walsh, F. (2009). Religion and spirituality in couple and family relations. In J. H. Bray & M. Stanton (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of family psychology (pp. 600–612). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Walsh, F. (2010). Spiritual diversity: Multifaith perspectives in family therapy. Family Process, 49(3), 330–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Walsh, J. J., Balint, M. G., Smolira, D. R., Fredericksen, L. K., & Madsen, S. (2009). Predicting individual differences in mindfulness: The role of trait anxiety, attachment anxiety and attentional control. Personality and Individual Differences, 46, 94–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Warner, H. L., Mahoney, A., & Krumrei, E. J. (2009). When parents break sacred vows: The role of spiritual appraisals, coping, and struggles for young adults’ adjustment to parental divorce. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 1(4), 233–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. White, M. (1995). Re-authoring lives: Interviews and essays. Adelaide, SA: Dulwich Centre Publications.Google Scholar
  90. Wilcox, W. B. (1998). Conservative Protestant childrearing: Authoritarian or authoritative? American Sociological Review, 63(6), 796–809.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Wiley, A., Warren, H. B., & Montanelli, D. (2002). Shelter in a time of storm: Parenting in poor rural African American communities. Family Relations, 51, 265–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Worthington, E. L., Kurusu, T. A., McCullough, M. E., & Sandage, S. J. (1996). Empirical research on religion and psychotherapeutic processes and outcomes: A 10-year review and research prospectus. Psychological Bulletin, 119(3), 448–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Wulff, D. M. (1997). Psychology of religion: Classic and contemporary (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  94. Yick, A. G. (2008). A metasynthesis of qualitative findings on the role of spirituality and religiosity among culturally diverse domestic violence survivors. Qualitative Health Research, 18(9), 1289–1306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Appalachian State UniversityBooneUSA
  2. 2.Washington UniversitySt. LouisUSA

Personalised recommendations