Discipline: Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Subcategory: Social Sciences/Psychology/Economics
Shakira Miles - Virginia State University
Co-Author(s): Ellis Jackson, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA
John Henryism is an active coping strategy seen in people who work extremely hard to overcome stress at the expense of their health. The concept was named after a fictional folklore character. John Henry was a manual laborer of low socioeconomic status who competed with a machine to accomplish a physically taxing task. He won the competition but died soon after. The exhaustion associated with his attempts to negotiate environmental demands led to his death (James, Strogratz, Wing, & Ramsey, 1987). Religiosity refers to the adherence to the rituals and activities of a religion. The present study examined the ability of John Henryism to predict religiosity. It was hypothesized that there would be a negative relationship between John Henryism and religiosity. Ninety one African American college students between the ages of 18-31 participated in the study. The John Henryism Active Coping Scale (James et al., 1938) was used to measure John Henryism. The questionnaire has twelve Likert-type items with responses that range from five (completely true) to one (completely false), with scores ranging from twelve to sixty. The Expressions of Spirituality Inventory-Revised, a 32-item questionnaire was used to measure religiosity. A Multiple Regression was used to examine the ability of John Henryism to predict religiosity. Consistent with the hypothesis, the results revealed that John Henryism significantly predicted religiosity. These findings indicate that participants with high levels of John Henryism had low levels of religiosity. It appears that individuals with high levels of John Henryism rely on themselves in accomplishing difficult tasks as opposed to religion. Future research should examine the relationship between John Henryism and other dimensions of spirituality.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Virginia State University HBCU-UP grant
Faculty Advisor: Vernessa R. Clark, N/A