This is a brief overview of what the dissertation chapter consists of so far…
India is located in South Asia and has a population of more than 1,220,800,359 (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013). Hindi is considered the official language, though English is considered the secondary official language and is commonly spoken in business and political sectors. English is essential for acquiring lucrative job openings. The Indian constitution recognizes 22 languages. However, numerous dialects exist. This is not surprising since India is a conglomeration of several ethnicities: 72% are Indo-Aryan, 25% Dravidian, and 3% are Mongoloid and other (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013). India has 28 states and 7 union territories and each state has its own distinct culture.India is the birthplace of several religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. Hinduism is the most prominent religion (80.5%), followed by Islam (13.4%), and Christianity (2.3%)(Central Intelligence Agency, 2013). Operation World (2013), however, indicates the Christian population to be currently approximately 5% of the total population.As for culture, it is diverse. But three main things are centeral – it is collectivistic in nature, hierarchy is important and is male-dominated, arranged marriage is the norm; and finally spirituality is core to the culture.
Bowlby (1979) maintained that the child develops working models of self and others from early interactions with caregivers, which guide future relationship expectations. These representations are termed as internal working models. Ainsworth noticed attachment among the Ganda tribe in Uganda and then did lab studies called the strange situation. She studied three factors – attachment to caregiver, level of exploration based on the proximity of caregiver, and response of the infant to separation and then reunion with caregiver.
Research has found empirical evidence for high correlation between an individual’s concept of God and image of the preferred parent (Nelson, 1971). The association can be positive or negative. If the caregiver was sensitive to the child’s need, the child views God as a good and loving God or if the child’s needs were neglected and he/she received inconsistent responsiveness the child may view God as frightening and unpredictable (McDonald, Allison, Beck & Norsworthy, 2005; TenElshof & Furrow, 2000; Waegner, 1998). Kilpatrick and Shaver (1990) proposed two hypothesis that are distinct: a correspondence hypothesis proposing that an existent secure attachment pattern lays the foundation for faith in God anda compensation hypothesis proposing that those with avoidant attachment turn to religion as a surrogate attachment., where God becomes your safe haven in times of distress.
Self-explanatory (sample of the section that covers studies that show relationship between attachment and well-being)
Even as attachment to God and others is learned early in life in a child’s relationship with the primary caregivers, an individual’s appraisal of situations, God, and coping methodology is also learned mainly through modeling (Pargament et al., 1998). Religious coping can be adaptive or maladaptive and is an outcome of a person’s general religious beliefs and practices. Religious coping provides a sense of meaning and purpose, comfort, sense of agency, closeness to God and others, increased spirituality and better health in times of adversities (Pargament et al., 1998). Positive religious coping strategies reflects a secure relationship with God, sense of meaning and purpose in life, spiritual connectedness to God and others. This method of coping uses benevolent religious appraisals, seeking support from God, clergy and church members, collaborative religious coping, and religious forgiveness. Negative coping strategies stem from an insecure relationship with God, view of the world as unsafe, and spiritual struggle. Negative coping includes punitive or demonic religious appraisals, spiritual tension with God and others, reappraisal of God’s powers, and self-reliance versus dependence on God (Pargament et al., 1998).
I covered various articles looking at attachment to God and religious coping. An example is….
Self-explanatory. I control for social desirability or response bias due to Indian being a shame based culture where group thought affects how you respond to questionnaires, therefore, it is necessary to control for its affect on the other variables.
Data will be collected from students enrolled in few Evangelical Bible colleges across the country such as Grace Bible College in New Delhi, SALTDC in Pipariya, SAIAACS in Bangalore, and COTR in Andhra Pradesh. To ensure participation from a broader sample of Christians besides students, the surveys will also be administered to various churches in certain urban cities such as Delhi Bible Fellowship (Gurgaon and Delhi branches), Assemblies of God in Bangalore, as well as, Christian friend circle via social network such as Facebook and email communication.
Demographic Questionnaire-gender, age, religious denomination affiliation, level of education (Graduate degree, Undergraduate degree, Diploma, High school pass, and Other), convert (Yes or No, if Yes the what religious belief did you hold prior to conversion), ethnicity, state of origin, mother tongue, and English fluency.ECR-RS was developed to assess Anxiety and Avoidance across four distinct relationships (mother, father, romantic partner, and friend). Beck and McDonald’s (2004) developed the AGI is a 28-item scale that assesses attachment across two dimensions: Anxiety and Avoidance. The Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding(BIDR). The revised BIDR (Paulhus & Reid, 1991) is a 40 item that measures two dimensions of social desirability namely, Impression Management (BIDR-IM) and Self-Deceptive Enhancement (BIDR-SDE ). Explain these constructsThe Brief RCOPE is a shorter derivative of the RCOPE (see Pargament, Koenig & Perez, 2000) and has 14 items. The positive religious coping subscale (PRC) measures how connected one feels to God, secure attachment to God, and view of God as benevolent. The negative religious coping (NRC) covers conflictual relationship with God and others, spiritual tension and doubts (Pargament, Feuille, & Burdzy, 2011).
Attachment and religious
coping among South Asian
Grace V. Kallimel
Brief overview of India
Attachment to God
Attachment and overall
Gaps in literature
Attachment and religious
Overview of India
Population: 1,220,800,359 (Central Intelligence Agency, 2013)
Male-dominated society (hierarchical order)
…any form of behavior that results in a
person attempting or retaining
proximity to some other differentiated
and preferred individual, who is usually
conceived as stronger and/or wiser.
Although, it is most frequently and
intensely displayed by infants and
young children, it continues to be
manifested throughout life, especially
when distressed, ill, or afraid (p. 129).
Attachment to God
Secure attachment to parent would
lead to secure attachment with God.
God as safe haven/surrogate
Attachment and well-being
Anxiety attachment to God and others in
particular is positively correlated to
perceived stress and worry, whereas
secure attachment is linked with lower
stress (Bradshaw, 2010; Reiner et al.,
Correlation between attachment and
depression, self-esteem, physical health,
and trauma (e.g. Davis, Hook, &
Worthingon, 2008; Maltby, 2011;
Positive coping strategies
Benevolent view of God
Sense of meaning
Spiritual connectedness to God and
Negative coping strategies
Insecure attachment to God
See world as a dangerous place
Spiritual struggle or tension
Attachment to God and
Kirkpatrick & Rowatt (2004) saw a
positive correlation between secure
attachment to God and greater life
satisfaction, lower anxiety,
depression and physical ailments, in
contrast with anxious attachment to
God. Furthermore, secure
attachment to God has also been
negatively related to loneliness
among women (Kirkpatrick, Shillito,
& Kellas, 1999).
Gap in literature
Limited studies on the link between attachment and
No empirical study on an Indian Christian
Attachment is universal but culture impacts the way
it develops and how it is defined.
Hypothesis 1. Secure parental attachment will be positively
correlated with secure attachment to God in a Christian Indian
sample after controlling for response bias.
Hypothesis 2. Anxioustachment to parent is positively
correlated with anxious attachment to God in a Christian
Indian sample after controlling for response bias.
Hypothesis 3. Avoidant attachment to parent is positively
correlated with avoidant attachment to God in a Christian
Indian sample after controlling for response bias.
Hypothesis 4. Secure attachment to God predicts greater use of
positive religious coping strategies.
Hypothesis 6. Insecure and avoidant attachment predicts
greater use of negative religious coping strategies.
Christians (Bible College
students & Church members)
Experiences in Close Relationships-Relationship
Attachment to God Inventory
The Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding
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