Between God and self: exploring the attachment to God and authenticity/inauthenticity tendencies of South African Christian youths

Victor Counted*, Ahmed A. Moustafa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The paper explores the relationship between attachment to God (AG) and authenticity/inauthenticity among Christian youths in relation to a range of socio-demographic variables. Cross-sectional data were collected from 100 South African Christian youths using measures of AG and authenticity/inauthenticity. The correlation results reveal that feelings of insecurity in terms of having anxiety in a relationship with God is positively related to self-alienation (feeling out of touch with oneself) and accepting external influences (conforming to the standards and expectations of others), but negatively correlated to authentic living (being in tune with one’s self). Feelings of insecurity in terms of avoidant God-attachment was also related to self-alienation. In addition, demographic differences were observed for gender and church denomination. These results suggest that insecurity with God may either be linked to feelings of authenticity or self-estrangement among Christian youths and have broad implications, both for clinical usage and further cross-cultural research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-127
Number of pages19
JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

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