Masters Thesis

The Relationship between Negative Religious Coping and Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety in Arab American Adolescents.

This study explores the relationship between negative religious coping (NRC) and symptoms of depression and anxiety in Arab American adolescents, an under-researched topic in an under-researched population. The data were provided by a previous study that investigated socio-cultural adversities, cultural resources, and psychological distress in Arab American adolescents (Ahmed, Kia-Keating, & Tsai, 2011). In general, research has demonstrated NRC is associated with poor mental health outcomes in samples varying in age, race, gender, religion, and so on. However, research investigating NRC in Arab American adolescents is nonexistent. The current study includes four hypotheses. First, it was hypothesized that NRC would have a positive relationship with depression. Second, it was hypothesized that NRC would have a positive association with anxiety. Third, it was hypothesized that female participants would have a stronger relationship between NRC and depression and anxiety. Fourth, it was hypothesized that second generation participants would have a stronger relationship between NRC and depression and anxiety. The sample consisted of a predominately Muslim Arab American population of 240 adolescents. The results demonstrated that NRC was positively associated with anxiety and second generation participants had a stronger relation between NRC and depression and anxiety. Understanding the relationship between NRC and mental health in Arab American adolescents can inform counselors and help provide better psychological treatment for this vulnerable population.

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