Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Bill Buhrow, PsyD

Second Advisor

Mark McMinn, PhD

Third Advisor

Rodger Bufford, PhD


Loneliness is on the rise within the United States, particularly within younger adults ages 18-37 (Bruce et al 2019). Although much is known about the negative dimensions of loneliness, and some about protective factors to help ease loneliness, the potential impact of religious and spiritual beliefs and behaviors on loneliness remains largely unexplored. This study focused on the relationship between a committed religious faith and perceived feelings of loneliness among university students. Participants include 1,182 undergraduate students from George Fox University who participated in the National College Health Assessment (NCHA). Religious commitment was evaluated using a supplemental 6-item self-report measure added to the NCHA questionnaire. Loneliness was assessed using the single item from NCHA. Data were analyzed using stepwise linear multiple regression analysis to determine which predictor variables are associated with loneliness. Regression analysis indicated that those who endorsed “they strive to change their behaviors, thoughts, attitudes, and desires when I become aware they are contrary to biblical principles,” proved to be a statistically significant predictor of less loneliness. Also, females indicated feeling less lonely compared to their male counterparts and white students identified as feeling less lonely than non-white students. These data are consistent with prior research and provide support for the view that attachment to God may ameliorate loneliness.