Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


The purpose of this study is to investigate 2 research questions: Do pre-deployment religiosity among combat military service members and level of combat exposure predict posttraumatic growth? And, do the level of combat exposure and changes in religiosity predict posttraumatic growth in combat military service members? The sample was obtained from an archival data set (Orton, 2012) was a group of male National Guard infantry deployed to the war in Iraq (N = 75). Participants were given pre- and post-deployment measures 1 month before and 6 months after returning from the Iraq war. Four regression equations were used to predict posttraumatic growth. The predictor variables were religious behavior (DUREL scale), religious coping (Brief RCOPE scale), spiritual wellbeing (Brief Spiritual Wellbeing scale), and combat exposure (CES). The 2 criterion variables were measured by the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) and the PTGI Plus (3 additional spiritual change items). All 4 multiple regression analyses found no significant results: The first set of religiosity predictor variables were not related to posttraumatic growth (PTG), as measured by the PTGI, F (7, 65) = 1.89, p = .09, and no relationship was found when the same predictor variables were entered with PTGI Plus, F (7, 65) = 1.95, p= .08. The second set of predictor variables were the religious change scores, which were not related to PTG as measured by the PTGI, F (7, 62) = .67, p = .70, nor were religious change scores related to PTG, as measured by the PTGI Plus, F (7, 62) .71, p = .66. No support was found for the research hypothesis that pre-deployment and post deployment changes in religiosity would predict post-traumatic growth. Possible explanations for these unexpected results included low combat exposure scores, insufficient elapsed time to process war experiences, and a high rate of participants who identified as non-religious. Another possibility is that individuals high in religiosity may hold somewhat different assumptive worldviews that pre

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