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No Evidence for Transactional Effects between Religiosity and Self-Esteem in a Secular Country

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Theresa Entringer, Madeline R. Lenhausen, Christopher J. Hopwood, Wiebke Bleidorn

In: Social Psychological and Personality Science (2024), im Ersch. [online first: 2023-05-06]


This research tests the unique predictions of three different theoretical perspectives on the self-esteem benefits of religiosity: the religiosity-as-a-personal-relationship-with-a-higher-power perspective, the religiosity-as-a-resource perspective, and the religiosity-as-social-value perspective. To do so, we used random-intercept cross-lagged panel models and examined the between- and within-person associations between three indicators of religiosity (belief in God, service attendance, and prayer frequency) and self-esteem across 11 annual assessments in a nationally representative sample of Dutch individuals (N = 12,915). The results reveal largely nonsignificant associations between all three religiosity indicators and self-esteem at the between- and the within-person levels. This finding supports the religiosity-as-a-social-value perspective, suggesting that the self-esteem benefits of religiosity are restricted to religious cultures only. This research extends previous research by showing that the results hold across different measures of religiosity and by providing some initial evidence that the power of the religiosity-as-a-social-value perspective might be larger than formerly assumed.

Theresa Entringer

Research Associate in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Keywords: Religiosity, self-esteem, longitudinal effects, development