Intrusive Worries, Related Behaviors, and Religious Beliefs Among Mormons
Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto University
Research has demonstrated that religiosity is related to general and religious OCD. Furthermore, strict or demanding environmental upbringing can lead individuals to perceive God as less loving, forgiving, or available, and may result in increased OCD/Scrupulosity traits. However, no prior research has examined whether OCD/S is related to the religiosity levels or perceptions of God among Mormon individuals. To fill this gap, this study directly examined these questions within this population. An online survey of self-report measures was distributed through Mormon-centric institutions and publications, mental health organizations, and social media pages. It assessed demographics, psychological history, religiosity, and OCD/S traits. Comparative and regression analyses from 415 completed surveys showed that, contrary to previous findings from other religious populations, less religious Mormons reported greater OCD/S traits. Furthermore, Mormons who perceived God to be less loving or more controlling endorsed more OCD/S characteristics. This study may aid in the accurate clinical identification of OCD among Mormon patients, and may improve culturally competent and effective interventions for religious sufferers of OCD. In addition, it highlights how religion may act as a protective factor, as well as exacerbate OCD/S symptoms or deter treatment. Findings can assist religious leaders and members who aim to bridge the ongoing gap between religious identity and mental health treatment. Future studies are encouraged to seek a sample with greater variance of religiosity, and to identify possible causal relationships.