Psych Abstract: Correlates between self-esteem and measures of religiosity in a Christian university sample

Research Abstract

Aguilar-Alcantar, J., & Dulin, N. (April 2, 2005). Correlates between self-esteem and measures of religiosity in a Christian university sample. Presented at the Thirty-Fourth Annual Western Psychology Conference for Undergraduate Research, Santa Clara, CA.

The goal of the present study was to better understand the relationship of The Attitudes Toward Christianity Scale (Francis, 1978) and religious behavior measures with self-esteem (Rosenberg, 1986). Satisfaction of life (Deiner,, 1985) was also addressed. Participants were Christian university students, 62 male and 176 female of various ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds; all attended Vanguard University of Southern California. Religion has been shown to have a positive influence on self-esteem (Smith, McCollough & Poll, 2003; Abraido-Laza, 2004), Religiosity has also had a positive influence on self-esteem in previous studies (Kamya, 1997). The current focus of this study is on the relationship between spirituality, self-esteem, life satisfaction and religious behavior. After informed consent was obtained, a questionnaire packet containing the measures, and demographic questions were administered. Upon completion, each researcher collected the materials and participants were thanked for their participation. We hypothesized positive correlations between self-esteem and the following measures: religious attitudes, religious behavior, and satisfaction with life. Results supported the hypotheses. Significant positive correlations were found between self-esteem and attitudes toward Christianity (r =. 448, p<. 01), between self-esteem and life satisfaction (r =. 447, p<. 01), between self-esteem and prayer (r =. 161, p<. 05), and between self-esteem and how often the Bible is read (r=. 164, p<. 05). Issues related to the relationships will be discussed. These findings indicate that students who have higher positive attitudes toward Christianity, life satisfaction, pray more often and read the Bible more often are likely to have a higher self-esteem. The findings help broaden an understanding of self-esteem.