Psychological Defensiveness as a Mechanism Explaining the Relationship Between Low Socioeconomic Status and Religiosity

Mark J. Brandt, P. J. Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

People who are low in socioeconomic status (SES) are more likely to be religious than their higher status counterparts; however, little research has tested the mechanisms for this relationship. Using data from 90 diverse societies and multilevel path analysis, we replicated findings that individuals low in SES are more religious and furthermore found that in wealthy countries this relationship was mediated by a measure of psychological defensiveness even while controlling for participants' sense of financial insecurities. These results suggest that religious belief may play a psychologically protective role for low SES individuals, independent of realistic economic concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-332
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal for the Psychology of Religion
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Psychology(all)

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