Childhood Trauma and Experience in Close Relationships Are Associated with the God Image: Does Religiosity Make a Difference?

Alice Kosarkova*, Klara Malinakova, Jitse P. van Dijk, Peter Tavel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Religiosity and spirituality (R/S) and some of their specific aspects are associated with health. A negatively perceived relationship with God, which has adverse health outcomes, can be formed by human attachment both in childhood and adulthood. The aim of this study was to assess the associations of childhood trauma (CT) and experience in close relationships (ECR) with the God image in a secular environment by religiosity. A national representative sample of Czech adults (n = 1800, 51.1 +/- 17.2 years; 43.5% men) participated in a survey. We measured CT (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire), ECR (Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised Questionnaire), image of God (questions from the 2005 Baylor Survey) and religiosity. Our results showed associations of CT and ECR with God images. Respondents who experienced CT were less likely to describe God as loving, always present and forgiving. Religious respondents were less likely to report positive God images with odds ratios (ORs) from 0.78 (0.66-0.94) to 0.95 (0.91-0.99), nonreligious respondents reported negative God images with ORs from 1.03 (1.00-1.06) to 1.22 (1.08-1.37). We found CT and problems in close relationships in adulthood are associated with a less positive God image, especially in nonreligious people. Understanding these associations may help prevent detrimental health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8841
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2020

Keywords

  • childhood trauma
  • experience in close relationships
  • image of God
  • religiosity
  • SPIRITUAL STRUGGLES
  • ADULT SURVIVORS
  • MENTAL-HEALTH
  • CZECH VERSION
  • ATTACHMENT
  • ANGER
  • VALIDATION
  • PREDICTORS
  • LINKS
  • LIFE

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