Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Stephen Poteau, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Beverly White, Psy.D.

Third Advisor

Charles Jin, M.D


Most research on religion supports its efficacy in improving mental health, yet minimal research has been conducted on religion’s influence on grief specific to those who have lost someone to suicide (i.e., the suicide-bereaved). Psychological inflexibility has also been associated with poorer grief and mental health outcomes. The primary objective of this study was to assess the impact of religiosity and psychological inflexibility on grief outcomes among a suicide-bereaved sample of 323 participants. Participants were recruited through online and face-to-face convenience sampling. Using a between-subjects, two-way ANCOVA design, this quasi-experimental study divided participants into four groups based on high and low religiosity and high and low psychological inflexibility. Severity of grief was assessed across all four groups. Results showed that psychological inflexibility was statistically significant in regard to grief outcomes, while religiosity had no significant impact on grief. Specifically, high psychological inflexibility was associated with worse grief outcomes compared to low psychological inflexibility. No significant interaction effects between psychological inflexibility and religiosity were found. Additionally, duration of time since loss was statistically significant in its predictive value on grief outcomes while age of the deceased was not. Other categorical demographic variables, such as race, education, socioeconomic status, religious identification, self-assessed change in religiosity over time and relationship closeness to the deceased, type of relationship to the deceased, and history of mental health treatment, were also assessed for their influence on grief, using a one-way ANOVA. Clinical implications of the findings are discussed.