Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Juan Battle

Committee Members

John Torpey

Cynthia Epstein

Susan Markens

Subject Categories

Behavioral Economics | Social Statistics | Sociology of Religion


economic circumstance, religion, stress coping


Employing Norris and Inglehart’s concept of existential security as a theoretical framework, this dissertation utilizes three data points from the Americans’ Changing Lives study (1986, 1994 and 2011) to interrogate the link between the economic circumstance and religiosity. More specifically, the mediating impact of psychosocial well-being and mental health on religiosity are explored.

This dissertation hypothesizes that individuals employ religious coping strategies to deal with the stress of economic uncertainty; and when that uncertainty subsides, so too does religiosity. The results of this study show that, on average, religiosity increases during times of economic instability, and decreases when the economy is stable. However, these changes in religiosity are dependent on demographic characteristics, as well as levels of economic insecurity, psychosocial well-being and mental health.

By interrogating these issues, this research demonstrates how religiosity reflects fluctuations among individuals’ coping strategies relative to changes in economic circumstance.



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