Religious Coping Moderates the Relation Between Racism and Psychological Well-Being Among Christian Asian American College Students

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Abstract

The authors examined the moderating role of positive and negative religious coping in the relation between racism and psychological well-being in a sample of Catholic and Protestant Asian American college students (N = 107). On the basis of prior theorizing on the 2 types of religious coping, combined with some limited empirical evidence, they predicted that positive religious coping would have a buffering effect (Hypothesis 1) on the racism–mental health relation and that negative religious coping would have an exacerbating effect (Hypothesis 2). Participants completed an online survey containing measures corresponding to the study variables. Results indicated that the interaction between positive religious coping and racism was nonsignificant, so Hypothesis 1 was not supported. For Hypothesis 2, the negative religious coping and racism interaction term was statistically significant, but the moderating effect was in an unexpected direction, such that negative religious coping actually protected against the deleterious impact of racism on mental health. The findings suggest that the theorized deleterious influence of negative religious coping may need to be reconsidered in an Asian American setting. The findings have the potential to inform practitioners who work with Asian American college students to better cope with the detrimental consequences of racism.

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