• The Correspondence of Attachment Dimensions to Prayer Styles Among Undergraduate Students

      Lamkin, Nathaniel Aaron (2013-09-05)
      Despite the fact that prayer is a daily practice for many Americans, and is considered by some the heart and soul of spirituality, relatively little research has been conducted to understand the individual differences of people’s prayer styles. A previous study found that people who have higher levels of avoidance attachment are less likely to engage in prayers that are designed to facilitate a closer relationship with God (e.g., Meditative and Colloquial). It also found that people who have higher levels of anxious attachment are more likely to engage in help seeking types of prayers (e.g., Petitionary). Since the study, two additional prayer models have been developed making it beneficial to reexamine this relationship. One-hundred and ninety nine undergraduate students in psychology courses at Indiana State University received the three prayer style measures (Prayer Questionnaire, Inward Outward Upward Prayer Model, and Multidimensional Prayer Inventory), the Relationship Scale Questionnaire (RSQ), and other related variables (e.g., demographics, student stress scale, and early religious involvement). A hierarchal regression analysis found that none of the four prayer styles that were believed to facilitate a relationship with God showed a negative relationship with avoidance attachment. Two of the three help seeking prayer styles positively correlated with anxious attachment, with the magnitude of the relationship being small. Both prayer styles that significantly correlated dealt with asking for material things, with non-significant prayer style dealing with more impersonal issues. Overall, the results showed only adequate support that attachment and prayer style relate in a meaningful way. Age and race appear to be moderating variables for many of the prayer styles. Implications of the results will be discussed.