Religiosity and Spirituality Among Filipino Mothers and Fathers: Relations to Psychological Well-Being and Parenting

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Religion is recognized as an influential social institution in the Philippines; yet religiosity and spirituality are rarely studied in the context of Filipino family and parent-child relationships. We examine the direct associations of religiosity and spirituality with the psychological well-being and parenting behaviors of 115 mothers and 83 fathers residing in urban neighborhoods in the Philippines. Participants completed orally administered questionnaires on engagement in religious activities; spiritual beliefs; hope; psychological distress; warmth; and harsh parenting. Analyses using structural equation modeling showed that engagement in religious activities was significantly associated with the higher levels of hope and less frequent harsh parenting. In addition; parental warmth had a stronger positive association with spiritual beliefs than with engagement in religious activities. Neither religious activity engagement nor spiritual beliefs were significantly associated with psychological distress. We discuss shared and distinct aspects of religiosity and spirituality that may explain their associations with positive parenting outcomes; and highlight the potential benefits of spiritual beliefs and experiences within the Filipino family context.