Are people’s mental representations of God in relation to Self linked to their general representations of attachment? Do some people with relatively adverse attachment-related experiences or representations in relation to real-life parental figures nevertheless harbor relatively secure representations of God in relation to Self? What implications do representations of God in relation to Self have for mental health and for ways of being religious more generally? This proposal is based on a prospective study of a religiously diverse sample of adults, which already includes a state-of-the-art measure of attachment representations (the Adult Attachment Interview, AAI; Main, Goldwyn, & Hesse, 2003) as well as multiple measures of mental health and religiousness. Associations between the AAI and religiousness obtained in this study have already been established and published in high impact journals (e.g., Developmental Psychology). In this proposal, we include a pioneering measure, modeled after the AAI, namely the semi-structured Representation of God in relation to Self Interview (RGSI; Granqvist & Main, 2003). The proposal concerns remaining work related to the RGSI; transcription, translation (i.e., from Swedish to English), coding system construction, coding (including reliability coding), analyses, and writing of empirical and theoretical papers. In addition, an international post-doc will be trained in the RGSI system and be prepared to conduct a replication-and-extension study. The applicant will serve as the PI of the project, supervise the post-doc, code the interviews, and work closely with Professors Main and Hesse in constructing the coding system and writing the papers. The RGSI is expected to become the method of choice for assessing believers’ representations of their relationships with (or ”attachment to”) God, substantially extending the measurement artillery in the psychology of religion and attachment research alike.
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