Effects of devotional prayer and secular meditation on cardiovascular response to a faith challenge among Christians Journal Article uri icon
  • This study compared the effects of Christian devotional prayer (DP) with secular meditation (SM) and a habituation control (HC) on cardiovascular reactivity and recovery to a religious interpersonal challenge among a group of devoted Christians within a randomized controlled design. As such it provides a model for inclusion of culturally relevant characteristics in laboratory stress studies. The study had two primary goals, to: (a) test the effect of DP on laboratory based cardiovascular reactivity and recovery to a religiously focused interpersonal stressor among a Christian sample and (b) present the Religious Views Interview (RVI) as an example of a culturally sensitive laboratory stressor for a specific (in this case Christian) population. Eighty-five Christian undergraduate students at a secular northeastern university were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions (DP, SM, HC) prior to engagement in the RVI stressor. Multilevel modeling was used to test study hypotheses. Analyses indicated attenuated cardiovascular reactivity for DP compared to both SM and HC. The RVI was a potent laboratory stressor that engaged participants in a stressful event. Intrinsic religiousness predicted dampened cardiovascular reactivity across groups. Among Christians, DP may be an effective method of dampening response to a potent, religiously based, interpersonal stress. This study models a method that may be useful in expanding the cultural relevance of laboratory stress studies. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

  • Link to Article
    publication date
  • 2022
  • Research
  • Models
  • Randomized Controlled Trials
  • Religion
  • Stress
  • Additional Document Info
  • 14
  • issue
  • 2