"If I Tell Others about My Anger toward God, How Will They Respond?" Predictors, Associated Behaviors, and Outcomes in an Adult Sample

Volume
Volume 39
Issue
Winter 2011
Title
"If I Tell Others about My Anger toward God, How Will They Respond?" Predictors, Associated Behaviors, and Outcomes in an Adult Sample
Abstract

When people experience anger or other negative feelings toward God, do they admit these emotions to others? Participants in an internet survey (n = 471; mean age 41.7) described an incident involving suffering and their responses. Among those reporting negative feelings toward God (n = 256), those who had stronger negative feelings and saw such feelings as morally acceptable were more likely to disclose their feelings to others. Supportive responses to disclosure predominated over unsupportive responses. Yet about half of participants reported some unsupportive responses, including indications that such feelings were wrong or responses that made participants feel judged, guilty, or ashamed. To the extent that participants saw others’ responses as supportive, they reported greater spiritual engagement. In contrast, reports of unsupportive responses were linked with continued anger toward God, more suppression attempts and exit behaviors (e.g., rebellion; rejecting God; doubting God’s existence), and greater substance use.

Authors
Dr. J.J. Exline and J.B. Grubbs
Pages
304 - 315
Price
Add to Cart $5.00