Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Kenneth S. Kendler


The present study estimated the genetic and environmental effects on different dimensions of religiosity, explored how genetic and environmental effects covary across different dimensions of religiosity, and decomposed the covariance of genetic and environmental effects between different dimensions of religiosity and internalizing and externalizing psychiatric disorders. Dimensions of religiosity were found to be largely influenced by additive genetic and unique environmental effects, with little influence observed from common enviromental effects. Multidimensional analyses found that the seven religiosity factors observed in the present study were influenced by one common additive genetic factor, three common unique environmental factors, and unique environmental effects specific to each religiosity factor. Bivariate analyses of the seven religiosity factors and four psychiatric disorders found that the negative correlation between alcohol dependence and six of the seven religiosity factors could be accounted for by additive genetic effects. Similar results were obtained for nicotine dependence and one religiosity factor, "Social Religiosity" and for phobia and the religiosity factor "Unvengefulness" with shared genetic factors accounting for the observed correlation. For phobia and the religiosity factor "God as Judge", the correlation due to additive genetic factors was positive while that due to common environmental effects was negative. Analysis of a subset of religiosity items showed that for one religiosity factor, additive genetic effects increased over time while common environmental effects decreased. The results of the present study point to the complexity of the religiosity construct and suggest that various dimensions of religiosity are differentially related to various psychiatric disorders.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Psychology Commons