Praying as a form of religious coping in Dutch highly educated Muslim women of Moroccan descent

Jos Pieper, Rien van Uden, Leonarda Valk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This article addresses the research question: “How do Dutch highly educated Muslim women of Moroccan descent use prayer in dealing with problems?” The theoretical framework was mainly based on the work of Pargament et al. regarding religious coping. The empirical part of the study consisted of a quantitative and a qualitative part. This article presents results of the quantitative part. For the quantitative part of our research, 177 questionnaires were collected using snowball sampling. We asked respondents about their praying practices and their ways of religious coping, using the Brief RCOPE. The connection and communication in their prayer with a loving, caring, benevolent God is the main religious way in which these Muslim women of Moroccan descent cope with all kinds of problems. This use of prayer as a way of coping can be clarified through the psychological functions of religiosity and prayer that are suggested by Pargament, Koenig, and Perez (2000). Prayer could help them in: (1) finding meaning, (2) being master over their circumstances and controlling their emotions, (3) finding comfort and closeness to God, (4) experiencing intimacy with others and closeness to God, and (5) transforming their way of life. We did find few negative religious coping strategies, such as negative feelings towards God or alienation. This is in line with research results of Abu Raiya and Pargament (2010). As Islam implies surrender to God, it may be difficult for Muslims to admit their religious distress, doubts, and struggles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-162
JournalArchive for the Psychology of Religion
Issue number2/3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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