Date of Conferral







Rolande Murray


Religious beliefs and practices are an important source of symptom relief for individuals with schizophrenia; however, it can also be a debilitating source of symptom exacerbation. This quantitative study examined the cognitions and religious life orientations of Christian individuals both with and without a diagnosis of schizophrenia, as measured by the Rust Inventory of Schizotypal Cognitions (RISC) and the Religious Life Inventory (RLI) to examine a baseline for healthy religious cognitions. The aberrant-salience and attribution theories were used to explore the relationship between psychotic stimuli and religious attributions. One hundred and thirty Christian individuals from an outpatient mental health facility, both with and without a diagnosis of schizophrenia completed the RISC and the RLI. A t-test showed that individuals with schizophrenia scored higher on average on the schizotypal cognitions continuum than individuals without a diagnosis. The results of an ANOVA indicated that individuals with a Quest religious life orientation rendered higher scores on the schizotypal cognitions scale. This research study showed that higher levels of schizotypal cognitions were associated with low religiosity. Overall, individuals with schizophrenia showed no difference in religiosity compared to individuals without schizophrenia. This study addressed the stigma of religious practice among individuals with schizophrenia. Results of this study have positive social implications for individuals with schizophrenia and their practitioners/clergy who incorporate religion as a coping method for symptom relief.