Date of Conferral







Stephen C. Rice


The purpose of this study was to examine whether intrinsic, extrinsic, and quest religious motivations mediate the relationship between the religious philosophy and perceived well-being of believers. The intrinsic-extrinsic-quest paradigm has been the dominant measure of religious motivation for more than 3 decades. However, the different effects of intrinsic, extrinsic, and quest motivation on the well-being of believers has not been tested on a stratified, purposeful sample of the major world religions. A quantitative, quasi-experimental research design was used with an online, self-report questionnaire and mediation analysis to examine the effects of religious motivation on the relationship between religious philosophy and well-being. A stratified, purposeful sample of 763 members of the major world religions completed assessments of religion and well-being. Linear regressions revealed that intrinsic, extrinsic, and quest religious motivations were three distinct constructs, that they do exist across the world religions, and that they mediated the relationship between different religions and well-being, depending on which predictor and outcome variables were being examined in the mediation triangle. Positive social change is possible for counselors, therapists, psychologists of religion, religious leaders, and laypersons at the individual and societal level through knowing which religious beliefs, motivations, and practices are associated with positive affect, satisfaction with life, the fulfilment of basic human needs, eudaimonic well-being, and better physical health. Individuals come to religion mainly during times of personal crises as a way of coping, expecting urgent results, and these findings illuminate the effectiveness of their chosen coping strategy.