Document Type

Honors Project


Religion is often related to greater psychological well-being in college students (Burris et al., 2009). However, across studies, researchers have conceptualized “religion” in different ways. Despite the fact that religious identity and practice tend to be related, these aspects of religion may be differentially related to well-being (Lopez, Huynh & Fuligni, 2011). In addition, the relationship between religion and well-being may differ based on societal factors such as race and gender (Diener, Tay & Myers, 2011). In this study, 157 undergraduate students completed measures of religious identity, religious practice, public regard (the extent to which people feel that their race and gender identity is viewed positively or negatively by the broader society), and psychological well-being. Regression analyses showed that religious identity, but not practice, was associated with both higher positive and lower negative affect. There was a marginally significant interaction between religious identity and public regard for race for positive emotions, such that religious identity was correlated with positive emotions more strongly for participants with a high public regard for their race. Overall, results suggest that religious identity plays a more important role in well-being than religious practice. Additionally, having a higher sense of religious identity is likely to result in more well-being when accompanied by a racial identity that is perceived by the individual to have a higher public regard. This relationship is not affected by perceptions of public regard for gender.

Included in

Psychology Commons



© Copyright is owned by author of this document