This study examined how religion affects one’s psychological health as he/she deals with life crisis. Religious coping strategies explained variance above and beyond demographics variables. Although religious and spiritual beliefs and practices have been frequently associated with greater psychological well-being among the illness populations, religious coping remains rather unexplored. Further, studies on the role of religious coping on caregivers of the chronically ill are even less available. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore religious coping in parents/caregivers who care for teens/adults with HIV/AIDS. This study proposed to examine this facet of illness in a community health center in Botswana. It is hoped that this research may provide information that is beneficial to individuals caring for a person living with AIDS, specifically for those living in Botswana.

It was hypothesized that religious coping will impact psychological status in caregivers of youth/adults with AIDS and patient’s symptoms, with some beliefs creating a stronger positive impact than others for parents or caregivers of teens/adults infected with HIV/AIDS. Subjects for this study were recruited from their homes and HIV/AIDS health care centers/clinics in Botswana. Volunteer parents/caregivers were asked to complete the Religious Coping Activities Scale assessing religious beliefs, as well as a measure of psychological adjustment, which for this study was the Beck Inventory Depression, while patients completed Brief Symptom Inventory-IS. Positive and negative religious coping factors were predictive of psychological and physical outcomes. Wrong roads religious measure was not predictive of the patient’s symptoms. It is hoped that this study would provide results that are important to professionals working with parents/caregivers of teen/adults with HIV/AIDS and designing interventions to meet the needs of parents for whom religion plays a significant role. There is a need for therapists and other professionals to have an understanding and knowledge to help an individual who might be using negative religious coping to meet his or her needs more effectively.

LLU Discipline





School of Psychology

First Advisor

Kiti Freier

Second Advisor

Gary Hopkins

Third Advisor

David Vermeersch

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome -- psychology; HIV Infections -- psychology; Religion and Psychology; Religion and Medicine; Quality of Life; Spirituality.



Page Count

viii; 114

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

Included in

Psychology Commons