Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Journal of Intercultural Communication Research

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Journal of Intercultural Communication Research

Article excerpt

Samter, Morse, C. R., & Whaley, B. B.

Do We Need to Put God into Emotional Support?: A Comparison of Caucasians' and African-Americans' Evaluations of Religious versus Non-Religious Comforting Messages

Volume 42, 172-191. (2013)

Constructivism is the skill of alleviating another individual's emotional distress by giving them some sort of message. Person-centeredness is the degree to which one is aware of another persons experience. Comforting messages that are high in person-centeredness acknowledge another's feelings or experience by helping them to varbalize emotions or explanations in a way that validates their perspective on a situation. These messages are important in many types of relationships and have been shown to be associated with social and emotional benefits (e.g., less loneliness, higher levels of peer acceptance, etc.). Evaluations or perceptions of comforting messages tend to differ among different ethnicities, but findings are mixed and more research is needed. The current study examined whether ethnicity influences young adults' evaluations of two different sets of comforting messages: those in which concepts such as God, prayer, religion, and faith are woven into low, moderate, and high person-centered strategies (called "religious strategies") and those in which such concepts are not embedded (called "non-religious strategies") into the messages.

Participants (N = 197) were young adults recruited from two different universities on the east coast. The majority of the sample were African American (63%) and the remainder were White (37%). …

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