Religious Coping and Levels of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptomatology After the Beirut Explosion

Document Type


Source of Publication

Psychological Trauma Theory Research Practice and Policy

Publication Date



OBJECTIVE: Religious coping has implications for the development of psychopathology in the aftermath of traumatic events. This study explored the relationship between religious coping (positive and negative) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomology among survivors of a large industrial explosion that devastated parts of Beirut in August of 2020. METHOD: Three months after the disaster, 996 residents of Beirut and Lebanon completed validated measures of religious coping (RCOPE) and PTSD symptomatology (Impact of Events Scale-Revised) in either English or Arabic. The majority of participants were young adults aged between 18 and 25 years. RESULTS: Results indicated that higher levels of negative religious coping were a significant predictor of higher levels of PTSD symptomatology and were associated with a two-fold risk of meeting the criteria for probable PTSD. Other significant predictors included female gender, being a resident of Beirut at the time of the explosion, having personally sustained an injury, or knowing a person injured in the explosion. Effects sizes ranged from .34 to .68. CONCLUSIONS: Higher scores on measures of negative religious coping were associated with higher levels of PTSD symptomatology. However, negative religious coping may be better construed as a set of religious-based appraisals of event causality and may represent a form of peritraumatic appraisal in the wake of traumatic events. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).




American Psychological Association (APA)


Medicine and Health Sciences


Religious Coping, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Events, Industrial Explosion in Beirut, Positive and Negative Religious Coping

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access