Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of spirituality/religion used as a coping mechanism during treatment for disordered eating. Given the mixed outcome results of current therapeutic and pharmacological treatment methods for disordered eating, it is important to investigate other factors which may influence the treatment process. This study evaluated the role of spirituality/religion used as a coping mechanism among 61 patients who were admitted into an eating disorder treatment program and then discharged over a period of 15 months. In this quantitative study, the Brief RCOPE measure was self-administered at admission to determine the levels of both positive and negative spiritual/religious coping utilized by the patients. The Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology - Self-Report (QIDS-SR 16), the Spielberger Stait-Trait Anxiety Questionnaire (STAI) and the Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q4) were self-administered at admission and discharge to measure changes in depression, anxiety and severity of dietary restraint and concerns about eating and body shape and weight areas during the treatment process. The results of this study show there are significant relationships between the use of spirituality/religion as a coping mechanism and anxiety and length of stay, and trends towards significance with depression and duration of illness.

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