Beyond the Socially Desirable: Longitudinal Evidence on Individual Prayer-Wellbeing Associations

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Beyond the Socially Desirable : Longitudinal Evidence on Individual Prayer-Wellbeing Associations. / Møller, Anne Buch; Pedersen, Heidi Frølund; Ørnbøl, Eva; Jensen, Jens Søndergaard; Purzycki, Benjamin Grant; Schjødt, Uffe.

In: International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, Vol. 30, No. 4, 2020, p. 275-287.

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Møller, Anne Buch et al. "Beyond the Socially Desirable: Longitudinal Evidence on Individual Prayer-Wellbeing Associations". International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. 2020, 30(4). 275-287. https://doi.org/10.1080/10508619.2020.1753330

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@article{08972d00bfb64096a2ed6d0ffa5dc1c9,
title = "Beyond the Socially Desirable: Longitudinal Evidence on Individual Prayer-Wellbeing Associations",
abstract = "The often touted positive association between religion and wellbeing is mainly based on evidence from cross-sectional studies. This is problematic because such studies tend to draw conclusions at the individual level despite reporting associations at the group level. In addition to this fallacy, inferences at the group level are also likely to be inflated by the social desirability effect, which may further exacerbate misrepresentations of the individual level. To avoid these pitfalls, we examined prayer-wellbeing (P-WB) associations and social desirability effects at both levels, using single-level and multilevel regression analysis on a longitudinal dataset. Weekly reports of prayer and wellbeing from 282 frequently praying Danish Christians, totaling 4254 complete responses, were combined with a comprehensive background questionnaire featuring a social desirability measure targeting the religious domain. A typical weak positive P-WB association was observed at the group level, which disappeared when controlling for social desirability. At the individual level, the average association across individuals was positive after controlling for social desirability. This overall relationship, however, conceals considerable individual variance with almost a fourth of the estimated individual P-WB associations going in the negative direction, emphasizing the need to be cautious when extrapolating group-level data to the individual level. These findings suggest that cross-sectional studies may oversimplify the P-WB relationship, especially, if the social desirability effect is ignored.",
keywords = "ABSORPTION, DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS, EXPERIENCES, MENTAL-HEALTH, OUTCOMES, RELIGIOUS INVOLVEMENT, SAMPLE, SPIRITUALITY, THERAPY",
author = "M{\o}ller, {Anne Buch} and Pedersen, {Heidi Fr{\o}lund} and Eva {\O}rnb{\o}l and Jensen, {Jens S{\o}ndergaard} and Purzycki, {Benjamin Grant} and Uffe Schj{\o}dt",
year = "2020",
doi = "10.1080/10508619.2020.1753330",
language = "English",
volume = "30",
pages = "275--287",
journal = "International Journal for the Psychology of Religion",
issn = "1050-8619",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Beyond the Socially Desirable

T2 - Longitudinal Evidence on Individual Prayer-Wellbeing Associations

AU - Møller, Anne Buch

AU - Pedersen, Heidi Frølund

AU - Ørnbøl, Eva

AU - Jensen, Jens Søndergaard

AU - Purzycki, Benjamin Grant

AU - Schjødt, Uffe

PY - 2020

Y1 - 2020

N2 - The often touted positive association between religion and wellbeing is mainly based on evidence from cross-sectional studies. This is problematic because such studies tend to draw conclusions at the individual level despite reporting associations at the group level. In addition to this fallacy, inferences at the group level are also likely to be inflated by the social desirability effect, which may further exacerbate misrepresentations of the individual level. To avoid these pitfalls, we examined prayer-wellbeing (P-WB) associations and social desirability effects at both levels, using single-level and multilevel regression analysis on a longitudinal dataset. Weekly reports of prayer and wellbeing from 282 frequently praying Danish Christians, totaling 4254 complete responses, were combined with a comprehensive background questionnaire featuring a social desirability measure targeting the religious domain. A typical weak positive P-WB association was observed at the group level, which disappeared when controlling for social desirability. At the individual level, the average association across individuals was positive after controlling for social desirability. This overall relationship, however, conceals considerable individual variance with almost a fourth of the estimated individual P-WB associations going in the negative direction, emphasizing the need to be cautious when extrapolating group-level data to the individual level. These findings suggest that cross-sectional studies may oversimplify the P-WB relationship, especially, if the social desirability effect is ignored.

AB - The often touted positive association between religion and wellbeing is mainly based on evidence from cross-sectional studies. This is problematic because such studies tend to draw conclusions at the individual level despite reporting associations at the group level. In addition to this fallacy, inferences at the group level are also likely to be inflated by the social desirability effect, which may further exacerbate misrepresentations of the individual level. To avoid these pitfalls, we examined prayer-wellbeing (P-WB) associations and social desirability effects at both levels, using single-level and multilevel regression analysis on a longitudinal dataset. Weekly reports of prayer and wellbeing from 282 frequently praying Danish Christians, totaling 4254 complete responses, were combined with a comprehensive background questionnaire featuring a social desirability measure targeting the religious domain. A typical weak positive P-WB association was observed at the group level, which disappeared when controlling for social desirability. At the individual level, the average association across individuals was positive after controlling for social desirability. This overall relationship, however, conceals considerable individual variance with almost a fourth of the estimated individual P-WB associations going in the negative direction, emphasizing the need to be cautious when extrapolating group-level data to the individual level. These findings suggest that cross-sectional studies may oversimplify the P-WB relationship, especially, if the social desirability effect is ignored.

KW - ABSORPTION

KW - DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS

KW - EXPERIENCES

KW - MENTAL-HEALTH

KW - OUTCOMES

KW - RELIGIOUS INVOLVEMENT

KW - SAMPLE

KW - SPIRITUALITY

KW - THERAPY

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85086339538&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/10508619.2020.1753330

DO - 10.1080/10508619.2020.1753330

M3 - Journal article

VL - 30

SP - 275

EP - 287

JO - International Journal for the Psychology of Religion

JF - International Journal for the Psychology of Religion

SN - 1050-8619

IS - 4

ER -