Assessing the relationships among spiritual social support, stress, and anxiety: Does extraversion also play a role in the coping process?

Neal Krause, Kenneth I. Pargament, Gail Ironson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research indicates that people with strong social support networks tend to cope more effectively with stressful life events. This study aims to contribute to this literature in three ways. First, we assess spiritual social support that was received in religious institutions. Spiritual support is assistance that is provided with the explicit purpose of increasing the religious beliefs and behaviors of the recipient. Second, an effort was made to see if potential stress-moderating effects of spiritual support are more likely to arise among extraverts than among introverts. Third the data come from a recent nationwide survey (N = 1657). Statistical tests were performed to see if there is a three-way interaction between stress, spiritual support, and extraversion on anxiety. The findings indicate that strong spiritual support moderates the relationship between stress and anxiety, but only among highly extraverted study participants. In contrast, spiritual support tends to exacerbate the relationship between stress and anxiety among study participants with very low extraversion scores (i.e., introverts). The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 16 2017



  • Anxiety
  • Extraversion
  • Spiritual support
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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