Coping Functions of Prayer and Posttraumatic Growth

International Journal for the Psychology of Religion - 2010-11-05Harris JI, Erbes CR, Engdahl B, Tedeschi RG, Olson RHA, Winskowski AM, McMahill J10.1080/10508610903418103
Research on prayer and posttraumatic growth (PTG) indicates that those who pray report more PTG. Research is beginning to identify which types of prayer may be operating in this relationship. We sought to identify specific prayer functions related to PTG while considering differences due to the types of trauma experienced. Participants were trauma survivors from diverse, Midwestern Christian churches (N = 327). Participants completed questionnaires assessing trauma history, prayer coping functions, and PTG. Multiple linear regression analyses found that praying for calm and focus was independently related to higher levels of PTG. When considering all variables in the model, the relationship between prayer for calm and focus and PTG was not significant for those whose most significant trauma was interpersonal in nature, but significant for those with noninterpersonal trauma.