The Role of Social Context in Religion
Research on religiosity, spirituality and psychological well-being has been compromised by problems related to an uninformed conceptualization of religious indicators and a lack of consensus regarding definitions and measures of religiosity and spirituality. Religiosity and religious coping have also been found to be negatively associated with mortality and chronic illness. In the context of bereavement adjustment, religion and spirituality can be viewed as a coping strategy used to deal with loss, where religious coping is defined as the use of religious beliefs and behaviors to prevent or alleviate the negative emotional consequences of stressful life circumstances and to facilitate problem solving. Religion or religious devotion is an appropriate coping strategy for bereavement in that the death of a loved one is an unchangeable event, calling for a more emotion-focused coping mechanism rather than a coping strategy that is problem-focused, or action oriented.