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Mariadolores Alvarez '21

ars nova, 2021

Major: Psychology and Theology
Bio: Mariadolores Alvarez - known as Loli around campus - is a senior from Astoria, New York. Since applying to Fordham, Loli has been set on becoming a school psychologist and working in NYC public elementary schools. To achieve this career, Loli has been majoring in psychology and minoring in disability studies. Loli was surprised to have taken a strong interest in Fordham's theology classes and start a second major in Theology with a concentration in Catholic American Studies.

Title of Research: Observing the Effects that Religious Affiliation has on Well-Being
Mentor: Dr. Karen Siedlecki
Abstract: Research has shown that spiritual and religious experience has a myriad of psychological outcomes. Current research predominately uses a narrow lens by focusing on specific religions and specific populations. My study addresses the lack of intersectionality in the research field of religion. My study used a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods to examine how perspectives on specific social issues such as women’s issues, religious responses to victims of abuse, and LGBTQ+ rights relate to subjective well-being across a large range of religions. Participants were asked about their religions’ perspective on these issues on a global/“official” scale, a local scale, and their own personal beliefs on these issues. Preliminary hypothesis testing suggests that there are significant differences in religious affiliations on how individuals perceived their religions’ official stance on women’s issues and LGBTQ+ rights, and their religions’ local stance on women’s issues. Preliminary exploratory analyses also suggest that there are significant differences in religious affiliation and feelings of happiness, positive affect, and depression.