Religion and Coping in Mental Health Care

By Joseph Pieper; Marinus Van Uden | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6

“WHEN I FIND MYSELF IN TIMES OF
TROUBLE…”
PARGAMENT'S RELIGIOUS COPING SCALES
IN THE NETHERLANDS

1. Introduction
One of the ways of measuring religious coping Pargament discusses in his book The Psychology of Religion and Coping (1997), refers to the ways people deal with issues of responsibility and control in religious coping activities. In this context he mentions three styles of religious coping: self-directing, deferring and collaborative. By a coping style is meant: “(…) relatively consistent patterns of coping in response to a variety of situations” (Pargament et al. 1988, 91). The styles appear to be related to individuals' images of God and the nature of their relations to God, in particular as to the locus of responsibility for solving problems (with the individual or with God), and the extent to which individuals actively try to find a solution and, while doing so, experience God's support. The three styles of religious coping that Pargament et al. (1988) distinguish can be characterised as follows:
1. Self-Directing

Solving the problem is the individuals' responsibility and they make efforts to accomplish this. God gives people scope and opportunity to direct their own lives. The religious frame of reference is hardly used in this coping style; compared to the other two styles there is a much looser connection with traditional religiousness.

2. Deferring

Responsibility rests with God; individuals passively wait to see what possible solutions God will offer. Research carried out by Pargament et al. shows that this coping style is connected with a religious orientation in which external rules, convictions and authority are looked for in order to satisfy personal needs.

-115-

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