"He's not here, so hopefully He is" : the function of religion as a coping mechanism for prison wives and girlfriends

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    Linked Agent
    May 8, 2012
    Graduation Year

    How does religion function as a coping mechanism for wives and girlfriends of incarcerated men? My initial hypotheses suggest that there is a duality in the use of religion as a support mechanism when a women’s husband or boyfriend is incarcerated -- she may either initiate or maintain previous levels of religiosity because doing so provides a framework of logic in what is largely an anomic situation or she may reject religion as a consequence of her rejecting religious morality. My results reveal that these women rarely reject religion and instead strongly embrace religion as a particularly accessible way to cope with the incarceration of their significant others. Overall, the results emphasize the power of religion in dealing with this anomic situation, even if it seems the incarceration of a loved one would have the potential to disarm religious ideals of faith and goodwill.

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    117 pages
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