The relationship between religiosity, generosity, and empathy among young adults: The mediating role of secure attachment to God

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In this study, I sought to examine the relations between religiosity, secure attachment to God, and prosocial behavior in a sample of 154 Christian young adults. Specifically, I examined the extent to which secure attachment to God may mediate the relations between religiosity and empathy and generosity. Participants completed self-report measures related to religiosity (organizational, non-organizational, intrinsic), attachment to God, and prosocial behavior (generosity, interpersonal generosity, empathy). I found that organizational and non-organizational religious activities were associated with higher levels of secure attachment to God, generosity, and empathic concern. Intrinsic religiosity was related to greater interpersonal generosity. I also found that secure attachment to God mediated the effects of religiosity. There were significant indirect effects between organizational religious activity and empathic concern. Similarly, the indirect effects between all three types of religiosity and interpersonal generosity were significant. The results of this study provide support for the literature suggesting religiosity could promote generosity and empathic concern. It also highlights that secure attachment to God could be a mechanism in explaining the relationship between religiosity and prosocial behavior.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)

First Advisor

Fung, Joey

Document Type





Psychology and religion, Empathy, Generosity, Attachment to God


Clinical Psychology


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