Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Forensic Psychology



First Advisor or Mentor

Philip Yanos

Second Reader

Cynthia Calkins

Third Advisor

Zoe Berko


Little research has examined the intersection of religion and mental health among predominantly conservative communities – where religion tends to weigh heavily. It is known from the literature that religion and spirituality play a role in influencing treatment pathways and views towards mental health. The primary aim of the present study was to explore via secondary thematic analysis, the intersection of religion and mental health within a conservative Midwestern community of youth who are receiving treatment for early psychosis, with a secondary look at family dynamics. Seven participant transcripts were analyzed from the Narrative Enhancement and Cognitive Therapy-Young Adult (NECT-YA) adaptation study, where religious mentions emerged (N = 7). Three main themes were determined: religion as a support (n = 6), conflict between mental health and religion (n = 3), and unhealthy religion (n = 2). Findings from this research provide confirmation that religion indeed impacts mental health, treatment, and family dynamic among individuals with early psychosis, from a predominantly religious community; also, conclusions consistent with prior research – that religion be integrated with mental health, rather than divided.



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