Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, Vol 31, No 1 (2018)

Global Insecure Attachment Predicts Indicators of Caregiving Faith Development among Australianbased African Pentecostals in New South Wales

Victor Counted
Issued Date: 21 Nov 2018

Abstract


This article reports on the association between global attachment styles and aspects of caregiving faith development that involve representations of God as a symbolic attachment figure in a cross-sectional cohort of 261 African Pentecostals in New South Wales, Australia. In particular, the applicability of the correspondence and compensation hypotheses of the adult attachment theory was tested by conducting bivariate and multivariate analyses, controlling for covariates such as age, gender, education level, and relationship status. After adjusting for covariates, insecure-avoidant attachment in human relationship experiences remained a significant predictor of indicators of caregiving faith, which involved proximity to God, perceiving God as a safe haven and secure base, and seeing God as a response to separation anxiety, thus supporting the caregiving faith compensation model in the attachment-religion framework and the role of trait-based attachment processes in faith development. Additional support for the compensatory attachment model is seen in the moderation analysis results-accounting for about 57% of the variance in attachment-affiliation with God-which reveal that African Pentecostals who are not in a relationship (single) and are avoidantly attached showed a trend towards developing attachment-to-God caregiving faith, compared to those in a relationship (married) who had lower level of attachment to God. Several study implications are discussed.

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DOI: 10.1558/jasr.36551

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