Journal of psychology and theology (J PSYCHOL THEOL)

Publisher: Rosemead Graduate School of Psychology; Rosemead Graduate School of Professional Psychology

Journal description

The purpose of the Journal of Psychology and Theology is to communicate recent scholarly thinking on the interrelationships of psychological and theological concepts, and to consider the application of these concepts to a variety of professional settings. The major intent of the editor is to place before the evangelical community articles that have bearing on the nature of humankind from a biblical perspective.

Current impact factor: 0.37

Impact Factor Rankings

2016 Impact Factor Available summer 2017
2009 Impact Factor 0.311

Additional details

5-year impact 0.49
Cited half-life >10.0
Immediacy index 0.36
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.13
Website Journal of Psychology & Theology website
Other titles Journal of psychology and theology, Journal of psychology & theology, Psychology and theology
ISSN 0091-6471
OCLC 1787711
Material type Periodical
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study examined the relationship between religiousness, relational commitment, and marital quality, proposing that relational commitment would act as a mediator in the relationship between religiousness and marital quality. Using a causal step approach to testing mediation, zero-order correlates demonstrated significant relationships among all 3 variables. In examining the mediating effects of relational commitment, full mediation for religiousness on marital quality was determined by using a sequential regression analysis. Therefore, religious individuals who had higher levels of relational commitment to their spouses experienced greater marital quality than those who had lower levels of relational commitment. The theoretical and applied implications of these findings are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: Church affiliation has been associated with many developmental benefits for children and adolescents, including higher levels of prosocial behavior; however, research has only minimally explored the mechanisms mediating these relationships. The current study examines the extent to which social support at church (i.e., church support) predicts children's prosocial behavior independent of family religious practices and, subsequently, the extent to which the relationships between family religious practices, church support, and prosocial behavior are mediated by spirituality. Self-report survey data were collected from 279 church-going children between the ages of 6 and 13. Results of a structural equation model (SEM) analysis found that church support independently predicted spirituality and prosocial behavior after controlling for family religious practices. Spirituality partially mediated the relationship between church support and prosocial behavior. On average, boys reported significantly lower levels of church support, which in turn predicted lower levels of prosocial behavior both directly and indirectly via spirituality. Implications for parents and church leadership are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: In this study of career healthcare missionaries (N = 393), 47.9% of female missionaries and 42.1% of male missionaries reported experiencing anxiety, while 32.5% of female missionaries and 27.5% of male missionaries reported experiencing depression. For both females and males, depression severity scores showed a bimodal distribution of more and less severe depression, suggesting a clearer delineation for mild and severe depression. Regression analyses found that low role satisfaction was associated with both anxiety (p = .006) and depression severity (p = .004). A model is proposed describing the relationship between role satisfaction and its correlates: job expectations prior to arriving on the field, receptivity of the host country, gender, and imbalance of work and ministry. This model also describes the bidirectional relationship between role satisfaction and the existence of depression and/or anxiety.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: This article examines the relationship between resilience and the God images of Vietnamese immigrants living in Canada. In earlier literature, little attention was paid to the way that these immigrants may have used spiritual components as resources in helping them endure struggle and become resilient (i.e., well-adapted, resourceful, and filled with a sense of purpose). In the current study, we examined the above link using an object relations' perspective on God images and hypothesized that a more positive God image would be related to greater resilience. One hundred twenty-nine participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Questionnaire on God Image (QGI), and the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). Correlation and regression analyses showed that positive God images (e.g., those characterized by love, comfort, protection, and trust) were not only positively associated with a higher degree of resilience but also helped predict resilience among the Vietnamese immigrants we surveyed. We discuss various cultural implications of these findings for theory, research, and practice and make recommendations for future research.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: Past research indicates that self-compassion is a unique predictor of variation in clergy burnout. Self-compassion may be a relevant and beneficial construct in Christian communities at large, but as of yet no studies have analyzed self-compassion in non-clergy Christians. This study assesses the relationship of self-compassion with perfectionistic self-presentation, perceived forgiveness, and perceived support from one's Christian community. The study sample (N = 129) was drawn from undergraduates at a mid-sized, private, secular university in the southeastern United States who self-identified as Christians and were actively involved in a Christian campus ministry. Participants completed measures of the variables listed above through an online survey. Results indicated that those with low self-compassion reported more perfectionistic self-presentation, less perceived forgiveness, and lower perceived support from their campus ministry than those with high levels of self-reported compassion. Potential benefits of raising self-compassion among Christians are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: It seems that when individuals are asked to assess their perceived relationship to God, they are often given a negative affective prime prior to the assessment. The purpose of the current series of studies was to explore how this negative affective priming would influence participants' thoughts about their perceived relationship to God. Study I showed that the classic priming effect can be seen when the affective priming is nonreligious. However, going against predictions, there was a contrast effect when there was a religious focus with the positive priming having the most negative influence. Study 2 replicated and expanded this finding by showing that positive affective priming was linked to participants reporting that they experienced God's love less frequently. The current study highlights how the way that individuals think about or approach their relationship to God can have serious effects on how they experience this relationship.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: Internalization of religious motivation is associated with increased subjective well-being. However, much of the work on internalization focuses on widespread, low-cost religious practices. We propose that distinctive, high-cost, and meaningful Christian practices, such as Sabbath keeping, may be related to the internalization of religion and thus increased well-being when they occur within a community. Using a factor-cluster approach to develop an instrument to measure the internalization of Sabbath keeping among Seventh-day Adventists, we found a positive relationship between deeper internalization and higher subjective well-being. Importantly, the relationship between internalization of Sabbath-keeping practice and well-being was only weakly meditated by a more general measure of religious internalization, suggesting separate contributions of internalization for distinctive high-cost practices and widespread low-cost practices.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: The American Psychological Association (APA) accredits several explicitly Christian doctoral programs in clinical psychology. To what extent do these programs offer training in religious and spiritual diversity that students may not receive at other APA-accredited programs? A total of 353 students from 5 explicitly Christian programs were surveyed using the same questionnaire used in a more general national sample of APA-accredited doctoral programs a year previously. Students in explicitly Christian programs reported receiving more training in religious and spiritual diversity and more training in advanced competencies regarding religious and spiritual issues in professional work than students in the general sample of APA-accredited programs. At the same time, students in explicitly Christian programs reported receiving less training in ethnic/racial and socioeconomic diversity than students in other programs. Diversity training implications are considered.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: Wisdom is both a current topic of empirical investigation and a vital part of religious thought. What is the proper relationship between the science of wisdom and religious tradition? We suggest four possible approaches: remove the study of wisdom from its religious moorings, disregard the science of wisdom, look for commonalities in wisdom traditions, and look for particular contributions with religious faiths. Whereas the first two approaches introduce a number of problems for those committed to the integration of faith and psychology, the latter two approaches create a number of intriguing possibilities. Three potential areas of wisdom investigation are offered that fit within the fourth approach to relating wisdom and religion. Finally, a specific example of an empirical study is provided.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: In a culture that values availability, productivity, and speed, a strong work ethic is honored and rewarded. Hard work is seen as virtuous, while rest is given little attention. However, Scripture notes the value of rhythmic, intentional rest practices (i.e., Sabbath-keeping) and cultivation of a Sabbath heart. This article explores the value in rest that attends to enjoying, worshipping, and receiving from God outside of the world of performance and productivity. Consideration is given to the ways that both our culture and profession present major barriers to embracing this virtuous rest for mental health professionals. A brief survey of those with training in a mental health field who profess a Judeo-Christian worldview was conducted. Results showed that those who identified themselves as Sabbath-keepers were significantly more satisfied with the amount and quality of their rest than those who did not identify as Sabbath keepers. Future research implications are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: Grace is an interesting and potentially significant domain within positive psychology, but remains largely neglected. The present study examined the relationships among three known grace scales to evaluate the potential for creating a stronger single measure. It also explored their relationships to several other religious/spiritual measures to examine whether the three scales are measuring the same construct, to explore the implications for our understanding of grace, and to provide insights for further study. The three measures had moderately strong correlations with each other (r = .55 to .66), had similar relationships to other measures of religion/spirituality, and had distinct relationships to measures of psychological health and distress. This suggested that the three scales measure somewhat different constructs. Two grace scales showed significant negative skew, indicating ceiling problems. Differences in the underlying grace constructs, contamination by other concepts, or an underlying multidimensional structure for grace could account for these differences. Further study should better articulate the constructs underlying grace measures, address problems related to negative skew in responses, and clarify whether grace is multidimensional.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: This article explores the reading of the Prodigal Son’s self-talk though the lenses of a metacognitive-dialogical paradigm. The main thrust of the parable is provided and followed by a hypothetical reading of the succinct excerpts of the Prodigal’s internal dialogues and rhetoric, recognizing their ancillary character, illustrative meaning, and contextual purpose. Such processes appear to be involved in metanoia—a change of mind: (a) the son’s attention, perception, and recognition of his negative predicament; (b) his kairotic “aha” experience charged with regret, remorse, and repentance; (c) his inner dialogues—deliberating with self; (d) his mindful detachment, allowing for a purposeful shift to take place, so as to do the right thing; (e) his angst—arising in view of the consequences of his actions—prompting his anticipatory dialogues with the father (a sort of “stress inoculation training” to prepare for the eventual encounter); and (f) his actual decision to enact a purposeful response. The musings derived from such analysis may provide valuable insights into human nature in need of change. The article seeks to integrate biblical-theological insights with psychological principles that can be applied to theoretical and therapeutic endeavors in both disciplines.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: This paper is a response to requests from Christian psychologists for subject-specific class activities that integrate Christianity and psychology. Although Christian/psychology integration is highly valued by many as an overarching pedagogical goal, few examples are available of how to achieve such integration in specific class activities. This paper describes an example of a subject-specific, Christian/psychology integration class activity by utilizing the serenity prayer to teach psychology students about stress management. The activity is described for the purpose of justification and replication. Conclusions and future directions are also discussed.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: The present study focused on evaluating how anger at God may be related to the experience of personal moral transgression. People might view God as partly responsible for their transgressions if they attributed these transgressions to stable personal character traits that could be traced back to the way that they believe they were created by God. Viewing God as responsible for a trait that led to a transgression could lead the individual to feel angry at God. This hypothesis was tested in two studies across three samples. Results from the first study, a scenario-based experiment, supported our hypothesis. When individuals attributed a transgression to a core aspect of self, greater experiences of divine struggle were a likely result. Results from two cross-sectional samples (undergraduates and an adult web sample) revealed similar patterns regarding reallife transgression. Specifically, to the extent that people saw their personal transgressions as resulting from stable character traits, they reported greater anger toward God. This relationship was mediated by the extent to which individuals made negative interpretations of divine intent. In sum, people may experience struggles with the divine in response to their own personal transgressions, particularly when they attribute their transgressions to dispositional aspects of the self.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, the authors explored the relationship between adult attachment, church-based small group attachment, psychological functioning, faith maturity, God attachment, and Christian orthodoxy among a sample of Christian adults in Southern California (N = 138). The authors hypothesized that insecure church-based small group attachment would be positively associated with psychological maladjustment and insecure God attachment, and negatively associated with faith maturity and Christian orthodoxy, after controlling for insecure adult attachment. Findings partially supported the proposed hypotheses, revealing a positive association between anxious church-based small group attachment and anxiety-related symptoms, after controlling for anxious adult attachment. Moreover, anxious and avoidant church-based small group attachment was negatively associated with vertical faith maturity, after controlling for anxious and avoidant adult attachment. Finally, anxious and avoidant church-based small group attachment was positively associated with anxious and avoidant God attachment, after controlling for anxious and avoidant adult attachment. Recommendations for future research are provided, as are suggestions for small group leaders to utilize attachment theory to cultivate securely attached small groups within the Christian church.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of psychology and theology
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    ABSTRACT: Within the existing literature that emphasizes the integration of faith and psychology, topics related to psychological assessment are rare inclusions. Yet, it is commonly recognized that assessment measures provide useful clinical information. This article highlights the domain of psychological assessment as fertile ground for integrating psychology with spirituality. Three graduate-level faculty members who each teach psychological assessment courses in a clinical training program describe specific ways they integrate Christian faith and psychological assessment in the classroom. Foci for future efforts that would bring the areas of faith and psychological assessment together are described along with some of the benefits such efforts would yield, especially for clinical practice.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of psychology and theology