Religiosity: Reducing Depressive Symptoms Amongst Muslim Females in the United Arab Emirates


  • Justin Thomas College of Natural and Health Sciences, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Meera Mutawa College of Natural and Health Sciences, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Steven W. Furber College of Natural and Health Sciences, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Ian Grey College of Natural and Health Sciences, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Depression, religiosity, Muslim, Arab, Islam, positive clinical psychology


Religiosity has previously been associated with greater wellbeing, as well as with lower rates of depressive disorders and less severe levels of depressive symptoms.  Relatively few studies however, have explored this association in Muslim populations.  The present study explores the relationship between religiosity and depressive symptoms amongst female citizens of the United Arab Emirates.  Using a cross-sectional correlational design, a convenience sample of college students (N = 459) completed the Religious Conviction Inventory (RCI-10), adapted to the Islamic context, along with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II).  Both instruments demonstrated good psychometric properties and as hypothesized, religiosity was negatively correlated with depressive symptoms.  Further, individuals categorized as experiencing severe depressive symptoms reported significantly lower levels of religiosity, compared to their asymptomatic counterparts.  These findings lend further support to the idea that religiosity may act as a resilience-factor in the context of depression, extending this idea to female citizens of the United Arab Emirates.  The findings of this study are understood in the context of the second wave of positive psychology, called PP 2.0, which looks at positive and negative factors in individual’s lives as both interact to produce positive clinical outcomes.  


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How to Cite

Thomas, J., Mutawa, M., Furber, S. W., & Grey, I. (2016). Religiosity: Reducing Depressive Symptoms Amongst Muslim Females in the United Arab Emirates. Middle East Journal of Positive Psychology, 2, 9–21. Retrieved from



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