By Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pehr Granqvist
Dept. of Psychology, Stockholm University, Sweden
Post Conference Ressources
PowerPoint – download here
Audio Presentation – listen here
Audio Q&A – listen here
This 3-year longitudinal study includes 62 adult participants from various religious and spiritual groups in Uppsala, Sweden. The study was originally designed to test relations between attachment, as tapped by the semi-structured Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) method at the first assessment, and various aspects of religion and spirituality. Assessments at time-point 2 also included self-report measures of psychological well-being (and the lack thereof) in terms of self-esteem, loneliness, trait anxiety, and depressive symptomatology. As prayer has been viewed as a religious analogue of attachment behaviors, dimensions of prayer were selected out from our large battery of religion/spirituality assessments for purposes of this presentation. Our results show that liturgical and petitionary prayers were concurrently linked to lower loneliness. In addition, probable experiences with loving parents in childhood, as estimated by an independent AAI coder at the first assessment point, predicted higher occurrence of prayer in general as well as lower loneliness three years later. These relations were generally of modest strength. Moreover, virtually all other associations between aspects of attachment, prayer, and well-being were non-significant. A combination of low statistical power, the self-report mode of tapping well-being, and the highly marginalized role of religion in the Swedish “Welfare State” may have undermined the possibility of detecting small-but-true relations.