The Gods must be making us crazy : the effect of a judgmental God concept on mental health.
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Morrow, Lindsay Nadine.
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Using Wave III of the Baylor Religion Survey, this research examines the relationship between mental health and religion in a unique way. Many studies have examined church attendance as the most significant way that religion ameliorates mental health concerns. However, the sociological study of God concepts is under-examined, and may provide a more detailed picture. In a social context where denominationalism, affiliation and even social participation in religious activities are less important than they were half a century ago, God concepts may help us to understand exactly how religiosity affects behavior. God concepts represent the underlying motivations and cognitive styles that motivate people to believe and behave in certain ways. This paper finds that the effects of religion on mental health depend on the type of religion people experience. People who have a Judgmental God concept have poorer mental health, even when controlling for church attendance, prayer, and other beliefs.