Emotional Expressive Style as a Mediator Between Religion and Health

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Abstract

This study examined relationships among religious fundamentalism, emotional expressive styles (repressors, true low-anxious, true high-anxious, and defensive high-anxious), and health, hypothesizing that emotional expressive style is a mediator between religion and health. Participants were 145 undergraduate Protestant women. Religion correlated with emotional expressive styles, with the low fundamentalist group, as compared to the high fundamentalist group, having a higher proportion of women classified as true high-anxious. Religion also significantly related to health when measured by medical records from the University Health Center, with the high fundamentalist group having fewer visits than the low fundamentalist group. Emotional expressive style related to self-reported health, with repressers reporting fewer symptoms than other groups. This study did not support the hypothesis that emotional expressive style is a mediator between religion and health.

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