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The Effects of Combat Exposure and Religious Coping on God Image

The intent of this study is to determine whether there is a significant relationship between degree of combat exposure and religious coping on one’s emotional experience of God.Although varying levels of combat exposure can have deleterious effects on overall functioning, it is possible that one’s emotional experience of God can be bolstered.In addition to combat exposure, the amalgam of religious coping may also support a thriving God image.The following are the proposed hypotheses for this study.There will be a main effect between combat exposure and emotional experience of God among combat veterans.There will be a main effect between combat exposure and religious coping among combat veterans.There will be an interaction effect between combat exposure and religious coping on emotional experience of God.

Participants for this study will include any military service man or woman who has experienced mild to high levels of combat exposure, and identifies as Christian.They must be at least 18 years old and have an educational level of GED equivalent or higher.Additionally the subject population will be limited to those that do not endorse serious mental illness.The expected sample for this study is approximately 80 participants.

Materials for this study will include a sociodemographic questionnaire which will record information in areas of gender, ethnicity, age, Christian affiliation, branch of military served, highest level of education, marital status, current duty status, number of deployments, and current military rank.Additionally, questions concerning, education level, serious mental illness, salience of current relationship with God and endorsement of combat exposure will be posed.

The principal researcher will utilize an online survey as the major hub for data collection and storage.All measures and socidemographic information will be presented and completed from an online web link. Potential participants will be presented with a link that will forward them to an introductory cover letter, consent form, a screening questionnaire, sociodemographic form, study measures, and debriefing page.The snowball method will be employed to reach potential participants through various online mediums including: Facebook, church group sites, community group sites, listservs, and emails.Participant responses and personal data will remain confidential and anonymous.Duration of survey is estimated to be between 15-20 minutes.As an added incentive to increase recruitment of participants and in consideration of devoted time participants afford to the study (Lawrence & McFarlane, 1999), four $50.00 gift cards will be raffled upon completion of study protocol.

Findings from this study will be examined and discussed in reference to previous psychological research considering God image, resiliency, transitioning after military deployment, religious coping, and attachment.Possible clinical, military, and pastoral-care implications will be reflected upon, specifically bearing in mind modifications in the office of military chaplaincy, psychotherapeutic interventions for returning veterans, possible preventative measures for active military personnel, and informed pre-deployment coping strategies and skills.Strengths and limitations of the study will be parsed out and streams of future research will be suggested.

Survey Link:

Principal Investigator: A. Reese Holt, M.A. School of Psychology and Counseling, Regent University

Supervising Faculty: Glendon Moriatry, Psy.D. School of Psychology and Counseling, Regent University: 757-352-4341.

If at any time you feel pressured to participate, or if you have any questions about your rights or this form, then you should call Dr. Linda Baum, the current HSRC chair, at 757-352-4371.

***Used by permission.***


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