Religion and Spirituality for Diverse Women
Foundations of Strength and Resilience
by Thema Bryant-Davis, Asuncion Miteria Austria, Debra M. Kawahara, and Diane J. Willis, Editors
September 2014, 327pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3329-8
$64, £48, 54€, A92
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3330-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Recent medical studies show the positive influence of faith on mental and physical well-being.

This collection of essays considers the role of spirituality and religion in the lives of American women from various ethnic backgrounds, showing how faith empowers those in populations often marginalized in the United States.

Religion and spirituality are sources of strength and resilience for many women, particularly ethnically diverse women. This thought-provoking text examines this psychological trend, exploring the specific ways in which women from diverse backgrounds have benefited from their faith traditions, the various spiritual pathways they have chosen, and the impact of those choices on their lives.

Essays in this informative compilation show how women from African American, Latina, American Indian, Asian American, and Caucasian backgrounds recover from difficulties and traumas with the help of their faith. Contributors consider why women are more likely to endorse religious engagement than men; why ethnically marginalized women tap into spirituality for comfort more than any other population; and why many believers embrace religion as a coping mechanism throughout their lives—from adolescence to older adulthood. The work suggests ways for counselors, leaders, and religious figures to utilize this knowledge to bolster the well-being of those they serve.


  • Compares commonalities and differences across cultures
  • Features many different religions including folk practices, Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism, and Santería
  • Offers a multi-disciplinary perspective through coverage of cultural studies, psychology, and women's issues
  • Includes personal vignettes to demonstrate the power of faith and religion
Thema Bryant-Davis, PhD, is associate professor of psychology at Pepperdine University. Previously, she was president of the Society for the Psychology of Women and was a former American Psychological Association representative to the United Nations. Her published works include Thriving in the Wake of Trauma: A Multicultural Guide and Surviving Sexual Violence: A Guide to Recovery and Empowerment. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Duke University.

Asuncion Miteria Austria, PhD, coedited Praeger's A Handbook for Women Mentors: Transcending Barriers of Stereotype, Race, and Ethnicity.

Debra M. Kawahara, PhD, is associate professor at Alliant University. Her work includes Feminist Reflections on Growth and Transformation: Asian American Women in Therapy. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.

Diane J. Willis, PhD, is professor emeritus at University of Oklahoma. Her publications include Prevention of Child Maltreatment: Developmental and Ecological Perspectives and Understanding Exceptional Children and Youth: An Introduction to Special Education. She received her doctorate in in psychology from the University of Oklahoma.
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