Religious commitment, religious coping and anxiety: a study in German patients with breast cancer


Christian Zwingmann, Psychology of Religion Research Group, University of Trier, Franziska-Puricelli-Str. 3, D-55543 Bad Kreuznach, Germany (e-mail:


Within the last few years the relationship between religiousness and psychosocial adjustment has become a subject of increasing interest. However, previous research did not explicitly differentiate between dispositional religious commitment and situation-specific religious coping. The current cross-sectional study investigated the relative power of religious commitment, positive and negative religious coping, and religious commitment × religious coping interactions in the prediction of anxiety. The sample consisted of 167 German breast cancer patients who were assessed during an inpatient rehabilitation programme. Results indicated that positive and negative religious coping were more strongly related to anxiety than dispositional religious commitment. Furthermore, hierarchical regression analysis revealed a religious commitment × negative religious coping interaction. According to this interaction, there seems to be some synergistic effect of high levels of religious commitment and high levels of negative religious coping. In contrast, positive religious coping did not function as a moderator and appeared to be closely related to religious commitment. This may be due to the specific religious-cultural background in Germany.