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Relationship of Religiosity with Subjective Well-Being: General or Specific?

Ahmed M. Abdel-Khalek, Hosni I. Hamdi, David Lester and Gerhard Meisenberg

Published: 2024/06/01


The current study sought to investigate the relationship of religiosity with subjective well-being in a primarily Muslim sample of college students in Egypt (N = 294). Six scales measuring several constructs related to subjective well-being, including mental health, self-efficacy, love of life, optimism, well-being, and life satisfaction, were administered together with a 15-item measure of religiosity. The main questions addressed were whether the positive relationship between self-reported subjective well-being and religiosity that has been observed repeatedly in Western Christian samples replicates in this mainly Muslim sample, and whether there is a relationship with general well-being or a more specific relationship between religiosity and one or more components of subjective well-being. Those who consider themselves as religious reported greater well-being on all administered scales. When a “general factor of well-being” was extracted from the six well-being scales, it correlated with self-reported religiosity at r = .432. When controls for this general factor were included in regression models predicting religiosity with any one of the six well-being scales, the general factor was most predictive in most cases. There were, however, incremental contributions to this relationship by optimism and to some extent by love of life. The conclusion is that the relationship between religiosity and subjective well-being is mainly of a general nature, but optimism and perhaps love of life are more specifically related to (Muslim) religion. Keywords: Religiosity, Mental health, Self-efficacy, Love of life, Optimism, Subjective well-being

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