Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research


High levels of religiosity have been associated as a precursor for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and obsessive-compulsive symptomology (OCS), with previous studies finding positive correlations between the two variables. To date, however, the literature on the connection is limited, especially regarding nonclinical samples. The role of mediating variables has also been severely underresearched. The current study investigated the relationship between religiosity and OCS in a nonclinical religious-populace sample. It was hypothesized that strict followings of high religiosity would be associated with heightened OCS. Shame-proneness and guilt-proneness were additionally investigated and evaluated as potential mediators for the relationship of religiosity and OCS. A sample of 92 participants from the religious population participated in this nonclinical study, completing unique self-report questionnaires assessing guilt-proneness, shame-proneness, religiosity, and OCS. As hypothesized, there was a significant relationship between religiosity and OCS in this novel sample; however, this interaction was not mediated by guilt- and shame-proneness, although shame-proneness mediated the intellect dimension of religiosity. This therefore suggests that the association between religiosity and OCS in a nonclinical religious-populace sample cannot be explained by guilt- and shame-proneness. Future research should investigate the potential moderating impact of religious type/denomination and culture (external customs associated with a particular religious affiliation) separately to parse out the influence of these factors in the relationship, because of the stigma surrounding diagnosis and therapeutic help that is present and perpetuated in some religious cultures, remedying with a prescription of further prayer. Longitudinal designs and examination of other potential mediators in the relationship of religiosity and OCS (due to insignificant mediation), such as thought-action fusion (TAF), will also be an avenue for future research, as TAF has been found as a mediator in a clinical sample of this relationship.