Jamie D. Aten

Jamie D. Aten
Wheaton College Illinois · Humanitarian Disaster Institute

About

93
Publications
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Publications

Publications (93)
Article
The scale and scope of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina has made it one of America's deadliest natural disasters in the last 100 years. The physical destruction caused by Katrina was enormous, as was its impact on mental health. One of the common mental health outcomes associated with natural disasters are symptoms of posttraumatic stres...
Article
Full-text available
Across the globe, COVID‐19 has disproportionately affected the physical and mental health of several vulnerable groups. In a series of two cross‐sectional studies conducted April to July 2020, we examined its acute mental health effects on two vulnerable U.S. community samples—home‐bound older adults who were at or below the poverty line (Study 1,...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect countless individuals. Traumatic events like COVID-19 can often lead to significant resource loss and negatively affect mental health. As a result, people often go through various types of struggles, including those that are religious or spiritual (e.g., existential doubt). Also, in the wake of trauma, peop...
Article
Objective: Research has established religion and spirituality as important resources for Black people in the U.S. coping with adversity. Most research has been from an etic perspective, examining religious variables that are valid across multiple religions. In the present study, we asked what emic aspects of the Black church's practices and theolo...
Article
Traumatic events, such as natural disasters, often lead to significant resource loss for survivors, which can negatively affect emotional well-being. In these situations, it is common for people to draw on their religious or spiritual faith to cope with their pain and struggle. One construct that has received increased attention within the field of...
Article
Objective: This prospective longitudinal study examined whether coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to changes in psychological and spiritual outcomes among adults with chronic disease. Method: Participants (N = 302) were a stratified, nonrandom sample of adults (Mage = 64.46, SD = 10.86, 45.7% female). The sample was representative of t...
Article
Natural disasters can disrupt and challenge survivors’ core belief systems, leading to negative health consequences. People often rely on religion/spirituality to help them cope and make meaning, but to date very few studies have specifically focused on exploring spiritually oriented expressive writing interventions with natural disaster survivors....
Article
Sanctification theory proposes that when people appraise an aspect of life as having divine character and significance, this can lead to a number of positive outcomes. While questions remain as to whether a negative aspect of life – suffering – can be sanctified, the Christian tradition supports a sanctification approach. In a series of three onlin...
Preprint
Objectives: Research has established religion and spirituality as important resources for Black people in the US coping with adversity. Most research has been from an etic perspective, examining religious variables that are valid across multiple religions. In the present study, we asked what emic aspects of the Black church’s practices and theologi...
Article
In philosophy of religion, there are few more frequently visited topics than the problem of evil, which has attracted considerable interest since the time of Epicurus (341-270 BCE). It is well known that the problem of evil involves responding to the apparent tension between 1) belief in the existence of a good, all powerful, all knowing God and 2)...
Article
Organizational scientists are paying increasing attention to the scientific study of humility, following a larger trend in scholarship which has emphasized the relational and interdependent nature of leadership and of business. A growing body of evidence identifies humility as vital to effective organizational leadership, facilitating positive orga...
Chapter
Disasters are a considerable threat to meaning. People often turn toward religion and spirituality in times of adversity as a way to make sense of their situation, maintain a sense of significance, and discover a sense of purpose. Thus, in this chapter, we review how religion/spirituality (R/S) serves as a potential source of meaning in the wake of...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Religious/spiritual (R/S) growth is a core domain of posttraumatic growth (PTG). However, research on R/S growth following disasters has over-relied on retrospective self-reports of growth. We therefore examined longitudinal change in religiousness/spirituality following two disasters. Method: Religious survivors of Hurricanes Harvey...
Chapter
Religious and spiritual experience unfolds in the ever-changing milieu of culture, institution, social environment and physical place. But what happens when mass tragedy strikes? How might congregants be uniquely impacted when a shooting desecrates their synagogue, mosque, temple or church? Or when a hurricane obliterates their home, which is imbue...
Article
The purpose of this cross‐sectional study was to examine conservation of resources (COR) theory in the context of armed conflict in Africa. Specifically, within the setting of ongoing chronic conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), we tested the COR theory prediction that resource loss contributes to various stress outcomes....
Article
The goal of this longitudinal qualitative study was to develop a grounded theory of religious meaning making and attachment in a disaster context. At 1-month (T1; n = 36) and 6-months postdisaster (T2; n = 29), we conducted in-depth interviews with a highly religious sample of adult survivors of the 2016 Louisiana flood, using a disaster-adapted ve...
Article
This study explores how humility is contextualized in the culture of faith-based humanitarian aid leadership. Consensual Qualitative Research was used to synthesize the personal and observational experiences of 13 humanitarian aid leader exemplars. Characteristics and behaviors of humble leaders are discussed, along with the benefits of humble lead...
Article
Over the past several decades, scholarly interest in God representations has grown steadily, but conceptual and measurement challenges have persisted. Consequently, in this article, we build upon a dual-process conceptualization of God representations, which is organized along 2 dimensions: (a) doctrinal representations (i.e., affect-light, "head k...
Article
Debates about immigration policy have sparked increasingly negative attitudes toward refugees, particularly those of Muslim identification. Research to date has found that post-immigration prejudice and discrimination, often reinforced at a systemic level, pose an additional psychological burden to refugees. The present study explored associations...
Article
Approximately 5 million refugees have been displaced since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011. In 2016, the refugee crisis reached deadly proportions, causing many Syrians to flee their homes in search of asylum. Individual responses to refugees differed as Syrians attempted to resettle throughout the world. Research has shown that religious...
Article
Objective: Religion has been shown to protect against the negative effects of traumatic events. The current pilot study explored the extent to which religious support (i.e., sense of comfort and support from the Sacred, religious leaders, and fellow faith participants) buffered against the indirect negative psychological symptoms (i.e., religious/...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: In this article, we develop and validate a measure of spiritual fortitude (SF). SF is defined as a character trait enabling people to endure and make redemptive meaning from adversity through their sacred connections with God, others, and themselves. Method: First, we summarize its conceptual distinctions from related constructs such...
Article
Objective: The purpose of this systematic review is to synthesize the existing empirical psychology of religion/spirituality (R/S) and disaster research and offer a prospectus for future research. Method: Searches were conducted in PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, Medline databases, and through personal communication with study authors covering a period...
Article
Objective: This longitudinal qualitative study explores the impact of natural disasters on religious attachment (perceived relationship with God). We sought to validate and conceptually extend the religion-as-attachment model in a postdisaster context. Method: At 4 weeks (T1; n = 36) and 6 months postdisaster (T2; n = 29), survivors of the 2016...
Article
This quasi-experimental study investigated how effective a spiritually integrated, partner-interactive positive psychology intervention (PPI) was in promoting religious leaders’ humility and life satisfaction. Seventy-one Christian pastors and lay leaders self-selected to the waitlist-control (n = 30) or humility-PPI condition (n = 41). Humility-PP...
Article
Using Park’s meaning-making model to inform our understanding of distress in suffering, we conducted a qualitative investigation of the discrepancies experienced by evangelical Christian cancer patients between their religious global meaning and their situational meaning, and the religious beliefs invoked to resolve the discrepancy. Three primary r...
Article
Objective. This study explored the trauma symptoms of those who have endured a multi-year drought in Botswana, an arid, pastoral, and primarily Christian Southern African nation. Particularly, this study utilized conservation of resources theory to consider the effects of disaster-related resource loss (DRL) and the psychology of religion literatur...
Article
Justice takes many forms, such as social justice (equitable human rights), procedural justice (fair process, particularly in resolution of disputes), distributive justice (equitable distribution) and more. Distributive justice is an important theme in international community psychology, overlapping with concepts of peace, equity, compassion, and mo...
Article
The trauma centrality model posits that people’s global beliefs, intrinsic goals, and extrinsic goals are significantly violated after encountering a traumatic event, increasing their risk for psychological problems. Very little work, to date, has examined how exposure to catastrophic flooding is related to one’s global beliefs, intrinsic goals, an...
Article
This study explored Evangelical Christians’ narratives regarding their cancer diagnoses ( N = 29) through grounded theory methodology. Participants drew on their religious resources to construct meaning in coping with their diagnosis. Results indicated that the predominant narrative was the redemption of suffering. Four varieties of redemption stor...
Article
This cross-sectional study examined religious coping, dispositional forgiveness, and posttraumatic outcomes (posttraumatic stress and growth) among adult survivors of the Liberian Civil War (1989-2003). This study contributes to the literature on religion/spirituality, forgiveness, and trauma in post-conflict African contexts. Participants were 407...
Article
The purpose of this review paper is to present a case for more proximal and emic approaches to the study of religious meaning-making in suffering. Meaning-making is an important way in which religion and spirituality contribute to adjustment in the context of encountering difficult life events. However, much of the available research on religious m...
Article
Religious/spiritual (RS) struggles are a common feature of life. However, their link to subsequent changes in God representations—the mental representations underlying how people experientially relate to and doctrinally view God—is understudied. Toward that end, in this 1-year longitudinal study of undergraduates at a Christian college in the Unite...
Article
Disasters are an ever-present part of the broken world that we inhabit. Research has shown that churches often play an important role in providing spiritual and emotional care in the wake of disasters. Over the last decade much has been written about disaster spiritual care. Though a few of these resources draw from Scripture, an integrative framew...
Article
This exploratory qualitative study examined how individuals’ religious beliefs and values influence how they engage with individuals who have different religious views. Graduate students in their first year at Christian seminaries (N = 205) were asked to describe how their religious faith affects their attitudes and behaviors toward individuals wit...
Article
This study explored the role of intellectual humility (IH) in promoting attitude change and relationship closeness in the context of religious disagreement. Participants (N = 174) completed a preliminary survey that assessed their attitude on several contentious religious issues (e.g. gay marriage, abortion). Participants who disagreed about a cont...
Article
Full-text available
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has experienced widespread violence, including sexual violence. Sexual violence toward women includes rape, genital mutilation, and sexual slavery. Many Congolese have sought to escape such conditions as refugees in the USA. In the present study, we examined lived spiritual experiences of nine Congolese refuge...
Article
The present study examined the impact of losing tangible resources on psychological resources in a sample of college students (n = 160) affected by Hurricane Katrina. The data was collected approximately five months after the storm. Based on conservation of resources theory, we tested whether the loss of tangible resources (e.g., food, water) would...
Article
This qualitative study explored clergy perspectives on collaboration between clergy and mental health professionals in postdisaster contexts. A phenomenological methodology (Colaizzi, 1978) was employed to examine the perspectives of clergy first responders (N = 8) to the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in rural West Virginia. Results revealed...
Article
Full-text available
Hospital safety culture is an integral part of providing high quality care for patients, as well as promoting a safe and healthy environment for healthcare workers. In this article, we explore the extent to which cultural humility, which involves openness to cultural diverse individuals and groups, is related to hospital safety culture. A sample of...
Article
The requirements for effective international development have evolved in recent years toward a greater emphasis on capacity building, integration of entrepreneurship and economic models, and recognition of the role of faith-based NGOs and community groups. Faith-based development work, which parallels missions, must address these emphases in additi...
Presentation
Full-text available
This cross-sectional study investigated psychological and religious/spiritual (R/S) outcomes following the 2015 South Carolina flood, with a focus on examining the roles of perceived social and religious support in predicting postdisaster outcomes. These findings suggest enhancing disaster survivors’ perceived social support may help protect them a...
Article
Full-text available
Restavek is a form of modern-day slavery that is estimated to affect 300,000 (i.e., approximately 1 in 10) children in Haiti. It typically involves a child from a poor rural family being sent to work as an indentured domestic servant for an affluent urban family. Restavek children experience a high rate of trauma, as well as other mental health con...
Article
One of religion's psychological functions is to buffer against existential anxieties. This function may be especially pronounced among extrinsically religious individuals, who tend to harness religion for its personal and social benefits (e.g., emotional security, strengthened ingroup ties). Hence, in 2 experimental priming studies conducted within...
Article
Most research in the field of psychology and religion/spirituality (R/S) has used quantitative methods. In this paper, we call for increased qualitative and mixed-methods research to advance scientific knowledge of relational spirituality-that is, the ways people view and relate to the sacred. Specifically, we explore and illustrate how qualitative...
Article
The present study explored the relationship between (a) intellectual humility toward religious beliefs and values and (b) religious tolerance. Pastors who identified as Christian (N = 196) completed measures of conservatism, religious commitment, intellectual humility toward religious beliefs and values, and religious tolerance. Intellectual humili...
Article
Religious and spiritual beliefs serve a number of functions, including promoting mental health in the wake of negative life events. We explore the “meaning as a buffer” hypothesis, which posits that (spiritual) meaning will shield individuals from the negative psychological consequences associated with adversity. Building on Park’s (2010) meaning m...
Article
Reviews the book, Faith-Based ACT for Christian Clients: An Integrative Treatment Approach by Joshua J. Knabb (see record 2016-15893-000). The book seeks to provide a foundation and methodology for addressing the American Psychological Association’s (APA’s) mandate of competency surrounding religious factors when caring for clients (APA, 2002). The...
Article
Full-text available
To understand the relationship between the structure of resource loss and depression after disaster exposure, the components of resource loss and the impact of these resource loss components on depression was examined among college students (N=654) at two universities who were affected by Hurricane Katrina. The component of resource loss was analyz...
Article
Full-text available
Trauma is a widely acknowledged problem facing individuals and communities in developing countries. In sub-Saharan Africa-a region that is home to some of the world's worst human rights violations, ethnic and civil conflicts, disease epidemics, and conditions of poverty-trauma is an all-too-common experience in citizens' daily lives. In order to ad...
Article
Full-text available
According to Ronan and Johnston (2005) the number of people who will experience a disaster will double by 2050 from one billion people to two billion people. Since 1985 there has been an almost 400% increase in global natural disasters ( Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, 2007). Researchers managing the global terrorism database...
Article
Trauma is a widely acknowledged problem facing individuals and communities in developing countries. In sub-Saharan Africa-a region that is home to some of the world's worst human rights violations, ethnic and civil conflicts, disease epidemics, and conditions of poverty-trauma is an all-too-common experience in citizens' daily lives. In order to ad...
Article
The purpose of this article is to introduce a clergy, academic, and mental health partnership model (CAMP) that has been used to respond to emotional and spiritual needs which developed in the wake of several disasters affecting the Southeast Gulf Coast region. CAMP was developed to build capacity and infrastructure for facilitating: (a) disaster e...
Article
This study examined associations among resource loss, religiousness (including general religiousness, religious comfort, and religious strain), posttraumatic growth (PTG), and physical and mental health among a sample of Mississippi university students soon after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast in 2005. Resource loss was negatively associated...
Article
Over seventy percent of Americans identify with some faith community and use their faith as a means to cope with life experiences, especially following disasters (Weaver, Flannelly, Garbarino, Figley, & Flannelly, 2003). Clergy have been found to play a significant role in responding to disaster needs, including providing pastoral counseling, crisi...
Article
In this article the author focuses on child abuse prevention and treatment, survivors of natural disasters, and approaches to trauma treatment. It presents a series of recommendations for research that focuses on religion, spirituality, and trauma. It further discusses the work of Christian professionals across the disciplines of psychotherapy, div...
Article
An introduction is presented in which the editor discusses various reports within the issue on topics including various kind of trauma, how to cure it, and child abuse.
Article
After a disaster, survivors find themselves seeking many types of help from others in their communities. The purpose of this exploratory study was to assist in mental health service planning by determining the type and priority of support services sought by church attendees after Hurricane Katrina. Surveys were given to church attendees from two Mi...
Article
This study examined demographic and hurricane-related resource loss predictors on God concepts and God control among Hurricane Katrina survivors (N = 142) from Mississippi Gulf Coast communities approximately five months after the storm. The findings from this study of Katrina survivors suggest that significant loss from natural disasters has an im...
Article
In this article, I introduce a Christian integrative approach to disaster spiritual and emotional care in professional psychology. I also contextualize the subfield of disaster intervention within my view of how integration overall will develop in the future. Practice guidelines for integrative disaster spiritual and emotional care are offered, as...
Chapter
We offer findings from a qualitative study consisting of 34 interviews of 8-9 year old children in a Christian school. The research question was, What role do children think God plays in their family? In addition to brief interviews, children drew depictions of God's presence or activity in their family. Implications are given for clinical practice...
Article
A small but growing body of research has sought to investigate the specific role of religion and spirituality in posttraumatic growth. Recently, investigations have reported identifying spiritual growth following trauma, specifically that of cancer patients and survivors. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate how having cancer af...
Article
Researchers have found that disasters often devastate key community infrastructures leading to obstructions in communication (e.g., Bostian et al., 2002). Although Rebmann, Carrico, and English (2008) found that communication is vital to successful disaster preparedness and response, they noted that maintaining communication prior to, during, and a...
Article
Using an action participatory research approach, the authors conducted qualitative interviews with 41 African American clergy 1 year after Hurricane Katrina in severely affected areas of south Mississippi. These interviews revealed how mental health professionals can work with African American clergy and their churches by providing training that ta...
Article
In compiling this book on spiritually oriented interventions, it was our hope that readers will become more sensitive and effective at recognizing the important role that religion and spirituality can play in the lives of many clients. Yet our primary goal for this book is to go a step further. We hope to give readers an in-depth look at how to con...
Article
Perceived relationships with God can be a source of comfort or struggle. To advance the study of spiritual comfort and struggle, we develop the nine-item Attitudes toward God Scale (ATGS-9), and we describe six studies (2,992 total participants) reporting its development and psychometrics. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses identified two...
Article
The purpose of this article is to introduce a brief online social networking disaster preparedness tool that psychologists can help faith communities implement to assist in developing preparedness and response plans. This tool may potentially be used to strengthen social networks within and between faith communities in disaster circumstances throug...
Article
Successful psychotherapy with rural fundamentalist Christians requires psychologists to understand the clients' culture and worldview. They often rely heavily on religious authorities, interpret Scriptures literally, adhere to strict moral codes of behavior, and believe that they should evangelize those around them. Common therapeutic challenges in...
Article
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how mental health professionals and African American pastors and their churches could collaborate to overcome minority disaster mental health disparities. Forty-one African American pastors of churches located in south Mississippi, in counties directly affected by Hurricane Katrina, participated...
Article
We examine social reconstruction after human-caused trauma-with a focus on warfare, civil disquiet, or conflict. Specifically, we examine the roles of forgiveness and reconciliation in social reconstruction. Forgiveness promotes both trustworthy and trusting behavior, which can lead to reconciliation. Forgiveness and reconciliation help heal past m...
Article
This invited issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session is devoted to psychotherapy with religious and spiritual clients. After offering definitions of religion and spirituality, noting areas of potential convergence and differentiating nuances, the authors highlight the prevalence and types of spirituality among both clients and menta...
Article
To conclude this issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychology: In Session, the authors identify several next steps for clinicians interested in religious and spiritual therapy. They call for more clinically useful definitions of religion and spirituality and suggest that new methods of clinical practice that employ both Western and Eastern religion...
Article
God image appears to affect an individual's ability to cope, either positively or negatively, following stressful life events. This qualitative investigation explored God images of Hurricane Katrina survivors two months after the storm along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. A multifaceted, and sometimes paradoxical view of God emerged from participants'...
Article
The purpose of this article is to outline a series of recommendations to aid therapists in developing and integrating spiritual self-disclosure into the therapeutic process. The authors introduce six categories of spiritual self-disclosure by adapting Well's (1994) and Kottler's (2003) categories of self-disclosure. Arguments for and against therap...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this article is to provide supervisors with postdisaster strategies for promoting supervisee self-care. These recommendations are based on relevant disaster mental health and supervision research along with the authors' experiences of supervising and teaching in a university setting following Hurricane Katrina in South Mississippi. S...