Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Tamara L. Brown


Religiosity is considered to be an important component of the cultural orientation and worldview of African Americans. African American women, in particular, have been found to be unique in their level of religious devotion and activity compared to other demographic groups but there has been minimal research examining the positive effects of religiosity over time. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the role of religiosity dimensions and ethnic identity in predicting self-esteem, social support, healthy behaviors, and licit drug use in African American women over time. Results indicate that behavioral and cognitive components of religiosity predict different indicators of well-being. Specifically, behavioral religiosity was found to be predictive of healthy behaviors while cognitive religiosity was found to be predictive of self-esteem. Results also indicate that examining ethnic identity as a moderator may offer a richer context in understanding the differential effects of religiosity in well-being for African American women. Limitations and recommendations for future research were also discussed.