University of Leicester
2019guldasfzgphd.pdf (1.11 MB)

Prayer Types and Their Associations with Mental and Psychophysiological Health

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posted on 2019-02-27, 09:55 authored by Fatumetul Z. Guldas
Researchers have found that prayer can better explain the relationships that exist between religion and mental health in Christian samples. The main purpose of this project is to further understand the two psychological facets of prayer that have previously been less investigated – the field of well-being and the field of personality – among Muslim groups. Based on this, four studies are reported upon in order to produce knowledge as to how prayer types relate to well-being and personality as components of mental health. Firstly, attention has been given towards the well-being component explored in Study One, Study Two and Study Three in terms of whether certain prayer types link to emotional and physical well-being and, in building upon this, how such a link manifests. Study One reports upon the relationships that occur between prayer types and emotional well-being through two proposed cognitive and behavioural frameworks. The results gained suggest that the demonstrated links between specific prayer types and well-being can be explained through the described theoretical mechanisms which may affect mental health. Study Two and Study Three assess to what extent engaging in prayer affects the emotional responses of individuals as measured by skin conductance, blood pressure and heart rate. The results produced here suggest that engaging in prayer induces an increased arousal level of skin conductance and decreased level of blood pressure and heart rate values, the latter two areas being considered to be a marker of the person encountering a state of relaxation. Secondly, attention has been given towards the five-factor model of personality – as explored in Study Four. This study has revealed several associations that exist between prayer types and personality traits alongside resilience trait measures. In consideration of the respective findings, it is concluded that the personality traits of Extraversion and Conscientiousness are common predictors of obligatory and supplication prayer types while, in contrast, Openness is uniquely found to be better predictor of obligatory prayer. Ecological trait resilience has also been found to be the greatest predictor of all of the prayer types measured. Those ties between the explored prayer models and psychophysiological states might arise as an indicator of better mental health outcomes for health practitioners in their respective services and, furthermore, could warrant further research so that such areas are explored in more depth.



Maltby, John; Robertson, Noelle

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Behaviour

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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