The Effects of Attachment to God In Relation to an In Vivo Thought Induction Task Among Religious Individuals




Niehus, Katie

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Extending prior research on the relation between attachment to God and obsessive-compulsive symptoms, this study used a thought induction task and examined whether attachment to God contributed to anxiety, misappraisals, and neutralizing efforts following that task. A sample of undergraduate students (N = 106), who endorsed belief in God, a higher power, or a cosmic force, completed self report measures and performed a well-validated thought induction task. As predicted, anxious attachment to God correlated with anxiety following the thought-induction task. Anxious attachment to God continued to correlate with post-thought induction anxiety after controlling for pre-thought induction anxiety and religiosity. Although anxious attachment to God positively correlated with a desire to pray following the thought induction task, this correlation appeared attributable to religiosity. As expected, avoidant attachment to God generally did not relate to the criterion variables. Conceptual and therapeutic implications of these results are discussed, as well as future directions and limitations.



Attachment to God., Obsessive-compulsive disorder., Thought-action fusion., Scrupulosity.