International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 23 Num. 1 - March 2023


Mental Health and Religiosity: The Role of Experiential Avoidance in the Symptoms of Depression, Anxiety, and Stress

Volume 23 Num. 1 - March 2023 - Pages 43-55


Fuentes Ferrada, Reiner , Bacigalupe, Leonardo D , Ordóñez Carrasco, Jorge , Munzenmayer, Melissa , Navarro, Miguel A , Escobar, María J , Cárdenas, Javiera , Langer, Álvaro I


Volume 23, 1, 2023. To be published March 1st, 2023

Several studies have considered religiosity to be a protective factor against several mental health difficulties. However, other studies suggest the opposite, that is, that religiosity is a risk factor associated with psychological symptoms. In this context, there are no studies that evaluate this relationship considering the role of experiential avoidance, which is a predictive transdiagnostic variable of various mental health disorders. This study evaluated the relationship between experiential avoidance, attitudes toward religion, and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress in a sample of believers using a non-experimental cross-sectional design in the city of Valdivia, Chile. Results indicate that experiential avoidance is positively related to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, being the only predictor variable of the three symptomatic dimensions. Engaging in regular religious practice was not associated with religious literalness or experiential avoidance, while religious literalism was negatively associated with stress. Finally, Evangelicals showed a more regular religious practice than Catholics, while Catholics showed a higher index of religious literality; however, these differences were not associated with mental health. The clinical implications of these results are discussed.

How to cite this paper:
Fuentes-Ferrada R, Bacigalupe LD, Ordóñez-Carrasco J, Munzenmayer M, Navarro MA, Escobar MJ, Cárdenas J, & Langer AI (2023). Mental Health and Religiosity: The role of experiential avoidance in the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy, 23, 1, 43-55.

Key words:

experiential avoidance, religiosity, attitudes towards religion, religious literality

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