Background: Recent research suggested thatreligious coping, based on dispositional religiousness and spirituality (R/S), is an important modulating factor in the process of dealing with adversity. In contrast to the United States, the effect of R/S on psychological adjustment to stress is a widely unexplored area in Europe. Methods: We examined a Swiss sample of 328 church attendees in the aftermath of stressful life events to explore associations of positive or negative religious coping with the psychological outcome. Applying a cross-sectional design, we used Huber’s Centrality Scale to specify religiousness and Pargament’s measure of religious coping (RCOPE) for the assessment of positive and negative religious coping. Depressive symptoms and anxiety as outcome variables were examined by the Brief Symptom Inventory. The Stress-Related Growth Scale and the Marburg questionnaire for the assessment of well-being were used to assess positive outcome aspects. We conducted Mann-Whitney tests for group comparisons and cumulative logit analysis for the assessmentof associations of religious coping with our outcome variables. Results: Both forms of religious coping were positively associated with stress-related growth (p < 0.01). However, negative religious coping additionally reduced well-being (p = 0.05, β = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.27–0.99) and increased anxiety (p = 0.02, β = 1.94, 95% CI = 1.10–3.39) and depressive symptoms (p = 0.01, β = 2.27, 95% CI = 1.27–4.06). Conclusions: The effects of religious coping on the psychological adjustment to stressful life events seem relevant. These findings should be confirmed in prospective studies.

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