Religious Support, Benefits, and Affect in a Korean American Religious Sample
The importance of religious support and participation in religious communities has been emphasized in numerous studies of religiousness and spirituality. This study sought to investigate the nuances and complexities of religiousness from a multiethnic perspective. Participants from Caucasian, African American, Latino, and Korean American churches (N = 74) were asked to recall experiences of spiritual transformation and spiritual struggle in worship. This study attempted to identify unique characteristics of the Korean American religious experience by examining potential differences on social support ratings, perceived benefits of worship experiences, and affect for Korean American participants in comparison to Caucasian, African American, and Latino participants. Using an archival data set, this study examined ethnic group differences in Religious Support, benefit-related expression, and affective expression using the Religious Support Scale (Fiala, Bjorck, & Gorsuch, 2008), and LIWC linguistic word count analysis. Significant ethnic group differences were found in Total Religious Support and God Support. Post-hoc comparisons showed that African American participants scored significantly higher on God Support than Latino participants. Contrary to the proposed hypotheses, Korean American participants did not score significantly higher than other ethnic groups on Religious Support, benefits-related language, and affect-related language compared to other groups. Korean American Presbyterians reported higher scores on God Support than Korean American Pentecostal participants. This study highlights cultural influences in Religious Support and the need for culturally nuanced measures in social support research.
Abernethy, Alexis D.
Korean Americans, Social networks, Affect, Emotions
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