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  • Running Head: A Multivariate Study of Religiosity and OCS

    A Multivariate Study of Religiosity and Obsessive Compulsive

    Symptoms: Implications for Clinical Psychology

    Theory and Practice

    Manal Mohammad Asif

    M.A. in Clinical and Counselling Psychology, M.A. in Islamic Civilization

    A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at

    Monash University in 2015

    Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences (Psychology)

  • A Multivariate Study of Religiosity and OCS

    Copyright notice

    © Manal Mohammad Asif (2015). Except as provided in the Copyright Act 1968, this thesis

    may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the author.

  • A Multivariate Study of Religiosity and OCS iii

    Abstract

    An array of past religiosity-OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) studies were conducted,

    which yielded results with significant clinical implications. Most of these previous studies

    implied for a non-religious approach for OCD management. In the present study, an

    innovative and more rigorous empirical approach was applied for examining the religiosity-

    OCS (obsessive-compulsive symptoms) relationship. Firstly, religiosity level was examined

    along with parental authority styles and personality traits as predictors of religious

    (scrupulosity) and non-religious OCS. Secondly, three groups, two high-religiosity groups

    and one low-religiosity group, were “equally exposed” to subjects identified as OCD themes

    during their degree coursework studies. Thirdly, scales for both general and religious OCS

    were used to measure the outcome variables. The results of the present study and their

    clinical implications were then compared with those of past studies. The relationship of the

    three predictors with religious and non-religious OCS were examined in a sample of 344

    university students, which included 117 high-religiosity exposed Muslim participants

    (religious studies degree students); 88 high-religiosity exposed Christian participants

    (religious studies degree students); 89 low-religiosity exposed participants (medical degree

    students); and 50 low-religiosity, non-exposed participants (Information and Communication

    Technology degree students). Participants were recruited from four universities and a church

    in Malaysia; and one Indonesian university (for the high-religiosity Christian group). The

    Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory-Revised (OCI-R), the Penn Inventory of Scrupulosity

    (PIOS), the Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire-44 (OBQ-44), the short-form revised Eysenck

    Personality Questionnaire (EPQR-S), the Parental Authority Questionnaire (PAQ), the Brief

    Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality (BMMRS), and the Religious OC

    Symptoms Scale (ROCSS), were used for data collection. While the PIOS was included for

    the Christian and low-religiosity participants, the 28 item ROCSS was developed for Muslim

    participants in order to adequately capture their religious OCS. The self-tailored ROCSS

    demonstrated good psychometric properties. Non-experimental, cross-sectional multivariate,

    quantitative techniques (e.g., correlation, multiple regressions) were used to investigate the

    relationships between variables. Obsessive-beliefs were examined as a mediator between the

    significant relationships found, with findings indicating a mediation effect present. Results

    demonstrated a significant relationship of personality traits with both religious and non-

    religious OCS across the four groups. Parental authority styles were also significantly related

    with religious OCS in the high-religiosity exposed Christian group and low-religiosity non-

    exposed group; and with non-religious OCS in the high-religiosity exposed Christian and

    Muslim groups and the low-religiosity exposed group. Religiosity level and non-religious

    OCS were not significantly associated in the four groups. Results also demonstrated a

    significant negative relationship between religiosity level and religious OCS in the high-

    religiosity exposed groups and a significant positive relationship between the two variables in

    the low-religiosity exposed group. Religiosity was identified as a protective factor against

    religious OCS in high-religiosity Muslims and Christians. Results of the high-religiosity

    exposed groups in the present study, which indicated a decrease in religious OCS severity

    with an increase in religiosity level, had crucial clinical psychology implications, as they

    supported the adoption of an approach which integrates religious interventions with cognitive

    behaviour therapy in the management of religious patients with OCD.

  • A Multivariate Study of Religiosity and OCS iv

    Declaration

    This thesis contains no material which has been accepted for the award of any other degree or

    diploma at any university or equivalent institution and that, to the best of my knowledge and

    belief, this thesis contains no material previously published or written by another person,

    except where due reference is made in the text of the thesis.

  • A Multivariate Study of Religiosity and OCS v

    Acknowledgements

    I thank Allah (God) for enabling me to complete this research, which indeed was not easy,

    given that I had to balance between the demands of the study and family obligations. I must

    also express my profound gratitude to my main supervisor, Dr. Karen Jennifer Golden for

    her dedication, continuous guidance and invaluable input. Without her encouragement and

    assistance the completion of this research would not have been possible. Thanks are equally

    due to Dr. Tam Cai Lian, my second supervisor, for her positive, encouraging and supportive

    comments. I am thankful as well for the scholarship support I received for my studies.

    I am also greatly indebted to my beloved husband, Mustafa Omar, whose prayers,

    endless support and assistance have always motivated me to continue despite all difficulties

    encountered in the course of writing this thesis. I would like to thank my dear sons, Nabil and

    Rashad as well, for their continuous reassurance and cooperation. Not forgetting my

    precious younger ones, Majid, Ahmad and Muhammad, whose consideration and patience, I

    truly appreciate. Lastly, I would like to thank all those who, directly or indirectly, have

    contributed to the successful completion of this research.

  • A Multivariate Study of Religiosity and OCS vi

    List of Tables

    Table 1 Frequency Distributions of Gender, Program and Nationality (n = 117) ...... 107

    Table 2 Frequency Distributions of School and Family Background (n = 117) ......... 108

    Table 3 Frequency Distributions of Gender, Program and Nationality (n = 88) ........ 109

    Table 4 Frequency Distributions of School and Family Background (n = 88) ........... 109

    Table 5 Frequency Distributions of Gender, Program and Nationality (n = 89) ........ 111

    Table 6 Frequency Distributions of School and Family Background (n = 89) ........... 111

    Table 7 Frequency Distributions of Gender, Program and Nationality (n=50) .......... 112

    Table 8 Frequency Distributions of School and Family Background (n = 50) ........... 112

    Table 9 Reliability Coefficients of Scales................................................................... 122

    Table 10 Skewness and Kurtosis Statistics for High-Religiosity Exposed Christian

    Group [HRECG] Variables ............................................................................ 129

    Table 11 Skewness and Kurtosis Statistics for High-Religiosity Exposed Muslim Group

    [HREMG] Variables ...................................................................................... 131

    Table 12 Skewness and Kurtosis Statistics for Low-Religiosity Exposed Group [LREG]

    Variables ........................................................................................................ 133

    Table 13 Skewness and Kurtosis Statistics for Low-religiosity Non-Exposed Group

    [LRNEG] Variables ....................................................................................... 134

    Table 14 Pearson Product-Moment Correlations (r) in the HRECG ............................ 137

    Table 15 Pearson Product-Moment Correlations (r) in the HREMG ........................... 137

    Table 16 Pearson Product-Moment Correlations (r) in the LREG ............................... 138

    Table 17 Pearson Product-Moment Correlations (r) in the LRNEG ............................ 139

    Table 18 VIF Collinearity Statistics in the four Groups ............................................... 139

    Table 19 Descriptive Statistics Showing the Impact of the four groups on ROCS ...... 141

    Table 20 One-way ANOVA for the four groups in Relation to ROCS ........................ 141

  • A Multivariate Study of Religiosity and OCS vii

    Table 21 Post Hoc Tests of the four groups .................................................................. 142

    Table 22 Descriptive Statistics Showing the Impact of the four groups on NROCS