RELIGIOSITY AS CORRELATES OF SOME SELECTED PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS AMONG PSYCHIATRIC OUTPATIENTS IN LAGOS STATE*

This study investigated Religious correlates of some selected Psychological Distress (Depression, Anxiety, Somatization, Paranoid Ideation and Psychotic Disorder) using Psychiatric outpatients in Lagos State Hospital, Lagos. It also examined gender differences in the level of selected psychological distress and religiosity. Analysis of the data gathered through the use of four questionnaires: Biographical Information Questionnaire, SCL-90, Religious Affiliation Scale (RAS) and Religious Trust Scale (RTS) with Pearson's product moment statistics; t-test and one-way Analysis of Variance found that that Somatization (SCL_a), paranoid ideation (SCL_h) and Psychoticism (SCL_i) have positive significant association with RTS, RAS and Religiosity(RAS and RTS) while depression (SCL_d), and anxiety (SCL_e) have negative significant correlation with Religiosity and its two dimensions. In addition, the result of the analysis showed that females obtained higher scores than males in the measures of anxiety, depression, somatisation and paranoid ideation. However, the mean difference is not statistically significant in the measures of anxiety; high Religious group was also found to have lower mean scores than their counterparts with low levels of Religiosity in all the selected measures of psychological distress (i.e. Somatization -SCL_a, depression-SCL_d, anxiety -SCL_e, paranoid ideation -SCL_h and Psychoticism SCL_i). Thus, this finding established that religiosity is associated with improved psychological health, and lower incidence of psychological distress.

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