Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Wesley D. Allan


The present study examined religious differences in help-seeking attitudes, intergroup anxiety, collective self-esteem, and emotional intelligence in Hindus and non-Hindus in India. Data were collected from 55 participants, who were predominantly students at either University of Mumbai or St. John's College Agra. Of these participants, 38 were Hindu and 17 were non-Hindu. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Inventory of Attitudes Toward Seeking Mental Health Services, the Intergroup Anxiety Scale, the Collective Self-Esteem Scale, and the Schutte Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test. Statistical analyses were computed using t tests for independent means, correlational analyses, and descriptive statistics. The results of these preliminary analyses did not indicate any group differences, but did find a number of significant correlations, including a positive association between intergroup anxiety and collective self-esteem. Furthermore, participants considered their religious beliefs to be very important, and those participants who indicated that their religion is the most important part of their identity, also indicated having greater collective self-esteem. Interestingly, strong belief that religion is the most important part of identity, but not importance of religious beliefs, was correlated with intergroup anxiety. Demographic variables, including age, sex, and socioeconomic status were also analyzed. Older participants were found more likely to consider their religious beliefs very important, and indicated that their religious beliefs were an important part of their identity. Older participants also reported greater collective self-esteem. Finally, women were found to have more positive attitudes toward seeking mental health services than were men. Females also were found to have higher emotional intelligence and greater preference for a therapist of the same religion. Also, lower socioeconomic status was found to be related to more positive attitudes toward seeking mental health services. Implications of these findings are reviewed along with recommendations for future research.