Psychology professors research the influence of religion on health lifestyles

Posted by Lori Shull - Friday, June 28 2013
lshull@tntech.edu

 

Zac Wilcox, associate professor of psychology, and Matthew J. Zagumny, professor of psychology, have been examining the role that religion and spirituality play in peoples’ mental and physical health in the US, Turkey and France.

For the past year, Wilcox and Zagumny have been developing and testing theoretical models of religious identity as a critical component of the relationship between religious identity/practices and health attitudes and behaviors. They have worked with colleagues at Celal Bayar University in İzmir, Turkey, Marmara University in İstanbul and Sorbonne in Paris. Over the past year Zagumny has traveled to Turkey and France to meet with research colleagues, conduct analysis of the quantitative and qualitative information collected aboard, and write final research manuscripts for publication.

These research activities will result in publication of two articles later this year titled “Psychometric Analysis of the AIDS Health Belief Scale in Turkey” and “Young Turkish Adults’ Attitudes about Violence toward Women.”

Later this summer, Zagumny will return to France to finalize a research project examining religious identity and practices, mental health and sexuality among young adults in Paris.

These cross-cultural research projects aim to isolate the influence of religious beliefs, practices and identity for healthy lifestyles among Protestant, Catholic and Muslim young people.

These research activities have been supported in part by a TTU Faculty Research Grant. Undergraduate psychology majors Jessica Singer and Brittany Stephens have collaborated on these research projects with Wilcox and Zagumny.

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