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Health Spiritual Med Ethics 2021, 8(1): 20-27 Back to browse issues page
The Role of Attachment Styles and Religious Attitudes in the Adjustment of Students
Mahdi Pourkord , Fazlollah Mirdrikvand , Amir Karami , Hiwa Karimi
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Lorestan University, Khorramabad, Iran.
Keywords: Adjustment, Attachment Style, Religious Attitude, Students.ts
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Type of Study: Original Article | Subject: General
Received: 2020/08/6 | Accepted: 2021/04/26 | Published: 2021/03/30
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Original Article                                                                                                                    Health, Spirituality and Medical Ethics. 2021;8(1):20-27
 
 

The Role of Attachment Styles and Religious Attitudes in the Adjustment of Students
Received 06 Aug 2020; Accepted 04 Feb 2021
http://dx.doi.org/10.29252/jhsme.8.1.20
Mahdi Pourkord1 , Fazlollah Mirderikvand2* , Amir Karami1 , Hiwa Karimi1
1 PhD Student of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Lorestan University, Khorramabad, Iran.
2 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Lorestan University, Khorramabad, Iran.
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Adolescence is one of the most important stages of life in this period, due to physical, psychological and behavioral changes, the need to adapt to family and society is felt more. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of attachment styles and religious attitudes in predicting adjustment of students.
Methods: The present study was a descriptive correlational study. The research samples included 162 students who were selected by a Multi-stage cluster sampling method of first high school students in the city of Najaf Abad. To collect the data of the Sinha & Singh adjustment Questionnaire (1993), Hazen and Shaver Attachment Styles Questionnaire (1987), Barahani and Golriz Religious Attitude Questionnaire (1975) were used. To analyze the relationships among the variables and to predict variances in adjustment, the Pearson correlation coefficient and the stepwise regression analysis were used.
Results: The results showed that there is a significant relationship between attachment styles and religious attitude with students’ adjustment (P<0.001). The regression analysis results showed that the strongest compatibility predictor variables in students are ambivalent attachment style, religious attitude and avoidant attachment style (P<0.001).
Conclusion: These results indicate that ambivalent attachment style, religious attitude and avoidant attachment style can be important factors in adjustment of students.
Keywords: Adjustment, Attachment Style, Religious Attitude, Students.
*Correspondence: Should be addressed to Dr. Fazlollah Mirderikvand. Email: mirderikvand.f@lu.ac.ir
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Please Cite This Article As: Pourkord M, Mirderikvand F, Karami A, Karimi H. The Role of Attachment styles and Religious Attitudes in the Adjustment of Students. Health Spiritual Med Ethics. 2021;8(1):20-27.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International License

 
 
 
 
 
 
Introduction
 
O
ne of the most important social problems in different societies today is behavioral and mental abnormalities and methods of dealing with them. There is no doubt that in the issue of mental health, adjustment is more important. Consecutive adjustment to the constant changes of life and balancing between personal needs and the demands of the environment are the results
of adjustment (1). Emotional, social and educational adjustment of adolescents, espe-cially in educational environments, is one of the important factors that has a significant effect on increasing academic performance, learning and future success of adolescents (2, 3).
Important social factors play a role in the development of adjustment, one of which is the parent’s response to the child’s needs in childhood and leads to the formation of attachment styles in the child (4). Attachment includes patterns of emotion, thinking, and individual behaviors in close association with the caregiver, emotional partner, and other intimate individuals (5). Bowlby believed that the development of a secure relationship depends on the regular interaction between parental care behaviors and child attachment behaviors. The formation of a secure attachment in the individual will lead to the development of self-esteem, positive emotions, satisfactory communication with others and personal independence (6). When the child is worried and anxious, if the parents are not available to him/ her, he/ she may react to the situation by inhibiting the attachment system, and repeating this can lead to the development of insecure attachment styles (7). The development of secure attachment in the first 2 years of life is closely related to the child’s socialization, parental acceptance, and effective emotion regulation. On the other hand, insecure attachment patterns before the age of 2 are associated with difficulty in socialization and poor interaction with peers in childhood and adulthood (8). Insecure attachment style in children and adolescents is associated with ineffective psychological performance (9), unadjusted behavioral patterns (10), behavioral problems and symptoms of high-risk behavior (11), depression, anxiety, antisocial personality disorder and adjustment disorder (12). Attachment to parents has a unique role in children’s inner characteristics such as loneliness, sense of cohesion, hope and effort and behavioral disorders (13).
Other effective factors in the people adjustment are religion and religious beliefs (14). In adolescence, a person is faced with identification. Identity formation in adolescents is a crisis (15, 16). Religious identity gives a person the power to act with a heartfelt belief
in religious teachings, which will have consequences such as directing life, having a positive approach on the future, enjoying social acceptance, and giving meaning to the world (17). Well-known psychologists such as Allport and Jung have studied the role and positive effect of religion on people’s lives and consider it important (18). Religious psyches are a
major factor in the higher adjustment
of religious individuals (19). Religion is associated with individual’s mental health and social adjustment (20). Various Eastern and Western religions have common and influential factors on mental health, prevention of depression and anxiety and thus increase psychological adjustment (21). Religious people show more resistance to anxiety and depression caused by illness by dealing with religion (22) and even when suffering from incurable diseases, they maintain a higher level of hope and show greater adjustment (23). Religion and religious rites are the best predictors of social adjustment and increase the quality and quantity of interpersonal relationships (24).
Adjustment is one of the main signs of mental health and human beings, through adjustment to new conditions, reduce anxiety, stress and depression and maintain their mental health and provide the basis for their success. However, many theoretical and experimental efforts have been made to identify the factors related to adjustment, but less effort has been made to identify the role of religious beliefs and attachment styles in the adjustment of certain groups, especially students. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of attachment styles and religious attitudes in student adjustment.
Methods
The present study was descriptive correla-tional. The statistical population consisted of all seventh, eighth and ninth grade students of the first high school for boys in Najafabad who were studying in the 2017-2018 academic year (3745 people). In addition to the desire of individuals, inclusion criteria in the present study were studying in the seventh, eighth and ninth grades and having relative general
health and the exclusion criteria included unwillingness to continue cooperation with researchers and failure to complete the questionnaire. According to Morgan’s table, the sample size consisted of 354 male students who were selected by multi-stage cluster sampling. In order to collect data and eliminate cultural differences, educational areas were divided into three areas, and then two schools from each area and three classes from each school (seventh, eighth and ninth grade) and in each class several students were randomly selected. In order to observe ethical considerations, researchers first introduced themselves and explained the goals and methods of research, as well as obtaining informed satisfaction from individuals. The sample group was assured that their information would remain confidential.
In the present study, three questionnaires of adjustment, attachment styles and religious attitude were used.
 
1- Sinha and Singh adjustment questionnaire (AISS- 1993)
It is a 60-item scale that assesses student adjustment in three emotional, social, and educational dimensions. In scoring this questionnaire, for answers that indicate adjustment, a score of one and otherwise a score of zero is considered. The sum of the total scores indicates the general adjustment of the individual and the sum of the individual scores in each dimension of adjustment (emotional, social and educational) indicates the individual adjustment in that area. The maximum score for each scale will be 20 and the overall adjustment score will be 60. Therefore, a high score on the subscales and the whole test is a sign of adjustment. This questionnaire has good reliability and validity. In a study, this questionnaire was conducted to 164 high school students and its reliability was reported based on Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for general adjustment as 0.82 and for educational, emotional and social adjustment as 0.70, 0.68 and 0.65, respectively (25).
 
2- Attachment style questionnaire
This scale was made by Hazen & Shaver (26) and has been standardized on students
of University of Tehran in Iran. This questionnaire has 15 items which 5 items are assigned to each of three secure, avoidant and ambivalent attachment styles. Scoring on this scale ranges from very low (score one) to very high (score five). Attachment subscales scores are obtained by an average of 5 questions per subscale. Five items of the questionnaire are related to secure attachment style, five items are related to avoidant attachment style and five items are related to ambivalent attachment style (27). Hazen & Shaver (26) obtained a total retest of this questionnaire 0.80 and reliability with Cronbach’s alpha 0.78. They also reported good face and content validity and reported its construct validity as very good. Also, Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for this questionnaire was obtained in a study for the whole questionnaire, ambivalent style, avoidant style and secure style, respectively, 0.75, 0.83, 0.81 and 0.77, which shows a good reliability (28).
 
3- Religious Attitude Questionnaire
This questionnaire has been prepared by Braheni and Golriz (1974) which includes 25 questions and each question has five grades and has a score of zero to 4 based on Likert and its total score is 100. Classification of scores from 0-100 is based on four scales, respectively, excellent, good, average and poor, which were categorized in the form of a score of (76-100) excellent religious attitude, (51-75) good, (26-50) average and (25 to low) poor religious attitudes. The validity of this test was obtained by correlation coefficient with Allport, Vernon & Lyndzy test (1960, quoting 29) which is equal to 0.80. This questionnaire has been re-evaluated in recent years and its reliability has been obtained by Spearman Brown method equal to 0.63 and its validity is equal to 0.248 (29). This questionnaire was also used in a study on students (30).
In the present study, in order to analyze the data, first descriptive statistical methods including mean and standard deviation were used and to determine the relationship between research variables and students’ adjustment, Pearson correlation coefficient was used and then stepwise regression was used to determine their predictive role in predicting adjustment. SPSS software version 20 was used to analyze the data.
Result
The mean and standard deviation of the scores of religious attitude, attachment styles and adjustment are shown in Table 1.
As can be seen in Table 1, the mean and standard deviation of students in the variables of adjustment were 37.05 (8.15), religious attitude were 63.49 (8.14), secure attachment

Table 1. Mean and standard deviation of religious attitude, attachment styles and adjustment in students
Variable M SD
Adjustment 37.05 8.15
Religious attitude 63.49 8.14
Secure attachment style 2.43 0.89
Avoidant attachment style 1.68 0.87
Ambivalent attachment style 0.46 0.23
 
style were 2.43 (0.89), avoidant attachment style were 1.68 (0.87) and ambivalent attachment style were 0.46 (0.23). Before using the correlation coefficient and stepwise regression tests, the observance of its presuppositions was checked. One of the presuppositions was the test for checking the normality of score distribution of test variables by not having significant skewness and also checking the normal Q-Q diagram was confirmed. The assumption that the variables are linear has also been observed. Also, the value of Durbin-Watson statistic was between 1.5 and 2.5, which the assumption of error independence was observed.
As can be seen in Table 2, there was a significant positive relationship between religious attitude and secure attachment style and there was a significant negative relationship between avoidant and ambivalent
Table 2. Correlation coefficient of religious attitude and attachment styles with students’ adjustment
Variable Adjustment Significance Level
Religious attitude 0.28 0.004
Secure attachment style 0.20 0.009
Avoidant style -0.33 0.003
Ambivalent style -0.65 0.002
 
attachment style with adjustment at 99% confidence level. Then, stepwise regression was used to predict adjustment based on religious attitude and attachment styles, the results of which are shown in Table 3.
The results of Table 3 stepwise regression for predicting adjustment show that in the first step, the ambivalent attachment style alone predicts adjustment of 0.43 and in the second step, the ambivalent attachment style and religious attitude together predict adjustment of 0.48 and in the third step, ambivalent attachment style and religious attitude and avoidant attachment style together predict adjustment of 0.51. Also ambivalent attachment style (P <0.001, Beta = -0.60) and religious attitude (P <0.001, Beta = 0.20) and avoidant attachment style (P <0.001, Beta = -0.18) had a significant relationship with students’ adjustment and were predictors of adjustment.
 
 
Table 3. The results of stepwise regression to predict adjustment
Variable R R2 B SE β t Significance Level
Ambivalent attachment style 0.65 0.43 -22.51 2.07 -0.65 -10.87 <0.001
Ambivalent attachment style
Religious attitude
0.69
 
0.48 -21.82
0.14
1.99
0.03
-0.63
0.23
-10.98
4.00
<0.001
<0.001
Ambivalent attachment style
Religious attitude
Avoidant attachment style
0.71 0.51 -20.79
0.12
-1.72
1.97
0.03
0.54
-0.60
0.20
-0.18
-10.56
3.48
-3.01
<0.001
<0.001
<0.001
 

Discussion
The assumption that there is a significant relationship between different levels of attachment styles and adjustment in students was confirmed. In other words, in the present study, there was a significant positive relationship between secure attachment style and adjustment in students and a significant negative relationship between avoidant and ambivalent attachment style with adjustment in students.
This result is consistent with some of the findings of other studies (8, 10, 11). The results of these studies have shown that the development of secure attachment in the first 2 years of life is closely related to the child’s socialization, parental acceptance and effective regulation of emotions. On the other hand, patterns of insecure attachment before the age of 2 are associated with difficulty in socializing and poor interaction with peers in childhood and adulthood. It is also consistent with the findings of several studies (12, 13) which showed that there is a relationship between adolescent attachment and psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, antisocial personality disorder, loneliness and adjustment disorder. Explaining the above results, according to the theoretical foundations of Bowlby attachment, secure attachment provides the basis of safety for individuals through which they can discover their world and give more adjusted responses to their environment. The existence of such a basis of security encourages individuals to explore and be cognitively open to new information (31). This secure foundation provides necessary confidence to risk, learn, and continually update our, others, and the world models. Self-confidence and trust to others are the two basic characteristics of secure people (32). Since self-confidence is one of the intrapsychic foundations of a secure attached individual, it gives him the ability to interact more skillfully, confidently and calmly in interpersonal relationships. On the other hand, a secure person’s trust in others, which is a complement to self-confidence, helps him to attract the help of others, thus facilitates the person’s adjustment to new contexts.
The results also showed that religious attitude has a significant positive relationship with adjustment in students. This research is in line with the results of some other researches (19-23). These studies showed that adherence to religion is associated with individual’s mental health and social adjustment. Religious people by religious dealing are more resilient to anxiety and depression caused by illness, and even when suffering from incurable diseases, they maintain a higher level of hope and
show greater adjustment. Therefore, teaching religious issues to adolescents is essential for a healthy life. According to the results of this study, religious attitudes affect students’ adjustment and these people have better and more successful mental health due to their higher adjustment, so parents are advised to help their children to cultivate religious characteristics and abilities in their children.
This research has been done cross-sectionally, making it difficult to draw conclusions about causality. Although the tools used in this study are validated in terms of psychometric indices, the use of scales that have different cultural foundations to some extent affects the internal validity of the research. Due to the fact that in the present study, only first grade high school male students have been studied, caution is required in generalizing the results to other groups. It is recommended that in future studies, using structural equation modeling, the role of mediating variables in adjustment should be considered and since this study was conducted only on first grade high school male students, it is recommended to examine and compare these variables in adjustment between boys and girls.
Conclusion
Based on the present study, it can be concluded that factors such as religious attitude directly and ambivalent and avoidant attachment style play a negative role in predicting student adjustment. That is, well-formed religion and attachment style, by creating a psychological and social protective umbrella against the negative factors affecting the adolescent, create a state of control and mastery on the environment, and in general, help to improve a person’s performance and mental health and adjustment.
Recommendations
The findings of this study are significant in both theoretical and practical applications. Theoretically, considering that religion and religious attitude in our country is considered as one of the basic foundations in comprehensive planning, the results of this study can help to the scientific body of these studies. From practical point of view, the present study can play important effects in the field of psychology, teaching and learning. Since a significant part of adjustment is acquired and teachable, the findings of this study can help education officials to improve student adjustment.
Financial Support
This research was conducted without any financial support.
Ethical Considerations
The authors declare that in this research, all relevant ethical principles, including the confidentiality of the questionnaires, the informed consent of the participants in the research, and the authority to withdraw from the research have been observed.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests in this study.
Acknowledgements
Researchers consider it necessary to thank the management, deputy and research expert of education in Najafabad, respected high school principals and students participating in this research.
References
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References
1. Pournikdast S, Taghizadeh M, AliakbariDehkordi M, Omidian M, Mikaeali Hour F. The comparison of Social, Emotional, Educational and Addiction Tendency in teens with up down religious attitude. Journal of Research Addiction. 2015; 8 (32): 75-86. (Persian) link
2. Nasihatkon Z. The Relationship between Academic Compatibility with Personality Characteristics and Religious Attitude in Allameh Tabatabaei University Students. [Master thesis] Faculty of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Allameh Tabatabai University: 2010. (Persian)
3. Aghamohammad Sharbaf H. "Incompatibility". Peyvand Magazine. 1994: 173. (Persian)
4. Bowlby J. Attachment and loss: Vol.3. New York: basic books; 1980.
5. Faramarzi S, Taghipour Javan AA, Dehghani M, Moradi MR. Comparison of attachment styles and child rearing in parenting mothers of normal students and students with learning disabilities. Jentashapir Journal of Health Research. 2013; 4(3): 245-254. (Persian) link
6. Bowlby J. Attachment, of Attachment and loss. Vol. 1. New York: Basic Books; 1969.
7. Main M, Kaplan N, Cassidy J. Security in infancy, childhood, and adulthood: A move to the level of representation. Monographs of the society for research in child development. 1985; 50(1): 66-104. link [DOI:10.2307/3333827]
8. DeKlyen M, Greenberg MT. Attachment and psychopathology in childhood. In J. Cassidy & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications (p. 637-665). The Guilford Press; 2008.
9. Allen JP, Moore C, Kuperminc G, Bell K. Attachment and adolescent psychosocial functioning. Child Dev. 1998; 69(5):1406-1419. link [DOI:10.2307/1132274]
10. Nicholson T. Attachment style in young offender. Ph. D Dissertation: University of Victoria: 2000.
11. Marsh P, McFarland FC, Allen JP, McElhaney KB, Land D. Attachment, autonomy, and multifinality in adolescent internalizing and risky behavioral symptoms. Dev Psychopathol. 2003; 15(2): 451-467. doi:10.1017/s095 [DOI:10.1017/S0954579403000245]
12. 4579403000245 link
13. Rosenstein DS, Horowitz HA. Adolescent attachment and psychopathology. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996; 64(2): 244-253. doi:10.1037//0022-006x.64.2.244. link [DOI:10.1037//0022-006X.64.2.244]
14. Al- Yagon M, Margalit M. Social cognition of children and adolescents with LD: intrapersonal and interpersonal perspectives. In: Swanson HL, Harris K, Graham S (eds) Handbook of learning disabilities, 2nd edn. Guilford Press, New York, 2013: 278-292.
15. Birashk B, Bakhshani NM, Bayanzadeh A, Azarbaijani T. Investigating the Role of Religion in Experiencing and Ranking Life Stress, Depression and Anxiety. The first international conference on the role of religion on Mental Health, Tehran; 2000: 159-159. (Persian)
16. Hagh Panah J. Centers for Identity Crisis in Iran, Strategic Studies Institute; 2002. (Persian)
17. Sedighi Arfaei F, Tamanifar MR, Abedin Abadi A. The Relationship between Religious Orientation of Coping Styles and Happiness in Students. Psychology and Religion. 2011; 5(3): 135-164. (Persian) link
18. Birashk B, Bakhshani NM, Bayanzadeh A, Azarbaijani T. Investigating the Role of Religion in Experiencing and Ranking Life Stress, Depression and Anxiety. The first international conference on the role of religion on Mental Health, Tehran; 2000: 159-159. (Persian)
19. Rajaee A, Bayazi M, Habibipour H. Basic religious beliefs, identity crisis,and general health in young adults. Journal of Developmental Psychology: Iranian Psychologists, 2010; 6(22): 97-107. (Persian) link
20. McIntosh DN, Silver RC, Wortman CB. Religion's role in adjustment to a negative life event: coping with the loss
21. of a child. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1993; 65(4): 812-821. doi:10.1037//0022-3514.65.4.812 link [DOI:10.1037//0022-3514.65.4.812]
22. Maselko J, Kubzansky LD. Gender differences in religious practices, spiritual experiences and health: results from the US General Social Survey. Soc Sci Med. 2006; 62(11): 2848-2860. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.11.008 link [DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.11.008]
23. Koenig HG, Al Zaben F, Khalifa DA. Religion, spirituality and mental health in the West and the Middle East. Asian Journal of Psychiatry. 2012; 5(2): 180-182. link [DOI:10.1016/j.ajp.2012.04.004]
24. Ramirez SP, Macêdo DS, Sales PM, et al. The relationship between religious coping, psychological distress and quality of life in hemodialysis patients. J Psychosom Res. 2012; 72(2): 129-135. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2011.11.012 link [DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2011.11.012]
25. Hasson-Ohayon I, Braun M, Galinsky D, Baider L. Religiosity and Hope: A Path for Women Coping With a Diagnosis of Breast Cancer. Psychosomatics. 2009; 50(5): 525-533. link [DOI:10.1016/S0033-3182(09)70846-1]
26. Schludermann EH, Schludermann SM, Needham D, Mulenga M. Fear of rejection versus religious commitment as predictors of adjustment among Reformed and Evangelical college students in Canada. Journal of Beliefs and Values. 2001; 22(2): 209-224. link [DOI:10.1080/13617670120092438]
27. Naveedy A. The Efficacy of Anger Management Training on Adjustment Skills of High School Male Students in Tehran. IJPCP. 2009; 14(4): 394-403. (Persian) link
28. Hazan C, Shaver P. Romantic love con-ceptualized as an attachment process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1987; 42: 511-542. link [DOI:10.1037/0022-3514.52.3.511]
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Pourkord M, Mirdrikvand F, Karami A, Karimi H. The Role of Attachment Styles and Religious Attitudes in the Adjustment of Students. Health Spiritual Med Ethics. 2021; 8 (1) :20-27
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