PhD Scientific Days 2021

Budapest, 7-8 July 2021

MH_I_P: Mental Health Sciences I. Posters

Social support and loneliness among Hungarian Lutheran clergy

Marton Jaray, Semmelweis University Mental Health institute

Text of the abstract

A number of studies have shown that mental health problems, such as depression can be three times as common among the Christian clergy as in the general population. Among many others, one of the key problems is the lack of social support and loneliness. Although the social network is bigger, the quality of these relationships is more superficial. The nature of the support is often one-sided, and the perceived social support is lower.
This research tries to measure the characteristics of social networks among the Hungarian Lutheran clergy and at the same time to find the determining factors on perceived social support and also of its effects on the well-being, physical and mental health of the target group. We try to clarify the most important factors which influence perceived social support.
Using a sample of the Hungarian Lutheran pastors and the Hungarian Metodist clergy, we will carry out a mixed method research. On one hand we use quantitative methods. With a questionnaire among others we measure social support (F-Sozu), depression (BDI-R), well being (WBI-5), loneliness (UCLA Loneliness Scale), life satisfaction (SWLS-H) and socio-demographic characteristics. Most of these are comparable with big databases, such as the Hungarostudy. On the other hand, we supplement this survey with qualitative methods, with semi-structured interviews.
We have no results yet. We planned to start the research at the beginning of March, but we could not have filtered out the impacts of the Covid epidemic which may have influenced our results significantly, and which we would like to avoid as much as possible. So we have started a smaller-scale research to validate the F-Sozu and the UCLA Loneliness scales in Hungary and to examine the Covid-related effects. We close the data collection at the end of June. We plan to carry out the comprehensive survey in October.
It is evident from the pilot interviews that loneliness and lack of perceived social support is a general problem in the clergy. It originates from multiple causes related to the theological perspective, national characteristics and the social role of clergy, etc. If we want to help our target population, their social network characteristics, their available and expected social support need to be mapped very thoroughly to provide a basis for interventions.

University and Doctoral School

Semmelweis University, Doctoral School of Mental Health Sciences