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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00630


  • 1University of Zaragoza, Spain
  • 2University of Jaume I, Spain
  • 3Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Spain
  • 4Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • 5Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet, Spain

There has been increased interest in the relationships between religiosity, meditation practice and well-being, but there is lack of understanding as to how specific religious components and distinct meditation practices could influence different positive and negative psychological adjustment outcomes. The aim of this study was to assess the explanatory power of religious beliefs and the practice of prayer, focused attention (FA), open monitoring (OM) and compassion meditation (CM) on psychological adjustment, taking into consideration a number of practice-related variables such as session length, frequency of practice and lifetime practice. Psychological adjustment was assessed by means of happiness, positive affect, depression, negative affect and emotional overproduction. A cross-sectional design was used, with a final sample comprising 210 Spanish participants who completed an online assessment protocol. Hierarchical regressions were performed, including age, sex and psychotropic medication use in the first step as possible confounders, with the addition of religious beliefs and the practice of prayer, FA, OM and CM in the second step. FA session length was related to all psychological adjustment outcomes: happiness (ΔR2=0.09, p=0.002; β=0.25, p=0.001), positive affect (ΔR2=0.09, p=0.002; β=0.18, p=0.014), depression (ΔR2=0.07, p=0.004; β=-0.27, p<0.001), negative affect (ΔR2=0.08, p=0.007; β=-0.27, p<0.001) and emotional overproduction (ΔR2=0.07, p=0.013; β=-0.23, p=0.001). CM session length was related to positive affect (β=0.18, p=0.011). CM practice frequency was associated with happiness (ΔR2=0.06, p=0.038; β=0.16, p=0.041). Lifetime practice of FA was related to happiness (ΔR2=0.08, p=0.007; β = 0.21, p = 0.030) and OM to emotional overproduction (ΔR2=0.08, p=0.037; β=-0.19, p=0.047). Religious beliefs and prayer seemed to be less relevant than meditation practices such as FA, OM and CM in explaining psychological adjustment. The distinct meditation practices might be differentially related to distinct psychological adjustment outcomes through different practice-related variables. However, research into other forms of institutional religiosity integrating social aspects of religion is required.

Keywords: religious beliefs, prayer, focused attention, Open monitoring, Compassion meditation, psychological adjustment, practice variables

Received: 15 Sep 2018; Accepted: 06 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Helena Moreira, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Reviewed by:

Anne Berthold, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Cassandra Vieten, Institute of Noetic Sciences, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Montero-Marin, Pérez-Yus, Cebolla, Soler, Demarzo and Garcia-Campayo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. María Cruz Pérez-Yus, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain,