Examining the relationship between religious perception and psychological well-being levels of university football players

Keywords: religious perception, psychological well-being, sports-football, university students


Background and Study Aim. The relationship between sport and religion is one of the most important research topics of  sport psychology recently. In the relevant literature, this relationship mostly focused on sports and Christianity. The present study examines the psychological well-being levels of athletes of the Islamic religion. This study aims to examine the relationship between the religious perception of university football players and their psychological well-being levels. Material and Methods. For this purpose, 288 university students attending different universities in Turkey, completed the Religious Orientation Scale and Psychological Well-Being Scale. Pearson correlation analysis was used to assess the correlation between variables. Path analysis was applied to test the hypotheses developed in the study. The hypotheses created were tested by the path analysis method using Amos software. Moderator regression analysis was performed. Statistical analysis was carried out using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 23 program (SPSS Inc. Chicago. II. USA). P-value was set at p<0.05.   Results. According to the findings obtained from the study data, positive and significant relationships were determined between the religious perceptions of the university football players and their psychological well-being (p<0,01). Conclusions. In conclusion, it was concluded that the religious perception of the university football players was a significant predictor of their psychological well-being (p<0.01). It can be stated that in Turkish-Islamic culture, similar results to the relationship between Sports and Christianity have been achieved. Since religion is a universal phenomenon, it can be stated that the institution of religion has a special meaning for football players.


Download data is not yet available.

| Abstract views: 238 | PDF Downloads: 151 |

Author Biographies

Mehmet H. Akgül, Burdur Mehmet Akif Ersoy University
Assist. Prof.; mehmethasimakgul@gmail.com; Faculty of Sports Science, Burdur Mehmet Akif Ersoy University; 15100, Turkey.
Ahmet Y. Karafil, Burdur Mehmet Akif Ersoy University
Assist. Prof.;  aykarafil@mehmetakif.edu.tr; Faculty of Sports Science, Burdur Mehmet Akif Ersoy University; 15100, Turkey.


1. Arslantürk Z, Amman T. Sociology. (12. Edition). İstanbul: Kaknüs Publishing; 2020.

2. Turhanlıoğlu FAK. Modernity and capitalism. H. Yeşildal (Ed.), Social change theories. Eskişehir: Anadolu University Publishing; 2010.

3. Freyer H. Sociology of religion. (T. Kalpsüz). Ankara: Doğu-Batı Publishing; 2013.

4. Uzdu H. Turkish cinema and religion in the modernization process. Journal of International Social Research, 2016;9:1164–1164.

5. Aitken,BW. Sport, religion, and well-being. Shirl J. Hoffman (Ed.). Sport and Religion, Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1992. P.237-244.

6. Jona IN, Okou FT. (). Sports and religion. Asian Journal of Management Scıences and Education, 2013;2: 46-54.

7. Ludwig F. Football, Culture and Religion: Varieties of Interaction. Studies in World Christianity, 2015;21:201–22.

8. Adogame A. Editorial: Religion and Sport, Past, Present and Future. Studies in World Christianity, 2015;21:193–200.

9. Coakley J. Sport and Society (12.Edition). New York: Mc Graw Hill-Education; 2017.

10. King KR. The Spirituality of Sport and the Role of the Athlete in the Tennis Essays of David Foster Wallace. Communication & Sport, 2018;6:219–38.

11. Lachheb M. La religion en pratique. Le port du voile dans l’espace sportif en Tunisie. Social Compass, 2012;59:120–35.

12. Masters KS, Knestel A. Religious motivation and cardiovascular reactivity among middle aged adults: is being pro-religious really that good for you? J Behav Med, 2011;34:449–61.

13. Walseth K, Strandbu Å. Young Norwegian-Pakistani women and sport: How does culture and religiosity matter? European Physical Education Review, 2014;20:489–507.

14. Watson NJ. New directions in theology, church and sports: A brief overview and position statement. Theology, 2018;121:243–51.

15. Akgül MH, Yetim AA. A Survey into The Religious Rites in The Tradıtional Kırkpınar Wrestlıng Tournament and The Religious Beliefs of The Wrestlers. European Journal of Physical Education and Sport Science. 2018;1:25-43.

16. Güngör E. Turkish Culture and Nationalism. (21.Edition). İstanbul: Ötüken Publishing,;2011.

17. Tükenmez M. Sociology and Sport. İstanbul: Kaynak Publishing; 2009.

18. Hoffman SJ. Sport and Religion. Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics Books; 1992.

19. Prebish CS. “Heavenly Father, Divine Goalie”: Sport and Religion. The Antioch Review, 1984;42:306.

20. Hochstetler DR. God in the Stadium: Sports & Religion in America. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 1997;24:129–31.

21. Parker A, Watson NJ. Sport and religion: culture, history and ideology. Mov Sport Sci/Sci Mot, 2014:71–9.

22. Parker A, Watson NJ. Sport, Celebrity and Religion: Christianity, Morality and the Tebow Phenomenon. Studies in World Christianity, 2015;21:223–38.

23. Bain-Selbo E, Goldenbach A, Evensen B, Geyerman C, Hardin R, Huffman LT, Waller SN. In: Schultz ve Sheffer ed. Sport and Religion in the Twenty-first Century. Lexington Books; 2015.

24. Lee Sinden J. The Elite Sport and Christianity Debate: Shifting Focus from Normative Values to the Conscious Disregard for Health. J Relig Health, 2013;52:335–49.

25. Walseth K, Fasting K. Islam’s View on Physical Activity and Sport: Egyptian Women Interpreting Islam. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 2003;38:45–60.

26. Zaman H. Islam, Well-being and Physical Activity: Perceptions of Muslim Young Women. In: Clarke G, Humberstone B, editors. Researching Women and Sport, London: Palgrave Macmillan UK; 1997, p. 50–67.

27. Winter TJ. Finding the Qibla in the Postmodern World. İstanbul: Timaş Publishing; 2016.

28. Karasar N. Scientific Research Method (24.Edition). Ankara: Nobel Publishing; 2012.

29. Hacerharlak H, Mehmet Eskin M. The development of relıgıous orıentatıon and relıgıosıty scales and the ınvestıgaton of theır psychometrıc propertıes. NYS, 2018:1.

30. Diener E, editor. Assessing Well-Being. vol. 39. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands; 2009.

31. Diener E, Wirtz D, Tov W, Kim-Prieto C, Choi D, Oishi S, et al. New Well-being Measures: Short Scales to Assess Flourishing and Positive and Negative Feelings. Soc Indic Res, 2010;97:143–56.

32. Telef BB. The adaptation of psychological well-being into Turkish: a validity and reliability study. Hacettepe University Journal of Education, 2013;28(28-3):374-384.

33. George D, Mallery M. SPSS for Windows Step by Step: A Simple Guide and Reference, 17.0 update (10a ed.) Boston: Pearson; 2010.

34. Collins M. Sport, Religion, Wellbeing, and Cameron’s Big Society. IMRE, 2014;17:139–65.

35. Cowden RG, Pargament KI, Chen ZJ, Davis EB, Lemke AW, Glowiak KJ, et al. Religious/spiritual struggles and psychological distress: A test of three models in a longitudinal study of adults with chronic health conditions. J Clin Psychol, 2022;78:544–58.

36. Akgül MH. Sports and Religion: moral and motivational effects of religion in professional football players. A.A.Yetim (ed.), Ankara: Gazi Publishing; 2021.

37. Spittle M, Dillon R. Mystical experience to measurable description: The relationship between spirituality and flow in golf. Facta Universitatis, Series: Physical Education and Sport, 2014;12(1): 1-10.

38. Roychowdhury D. Spiritual Well-Being in Sport and Exercise Psychology. SAGE Open, 2019;9:215824401983746.

39. Noh Y-E, Shahdan S. A systematic review of religion/spirituality and sport: A psychological perspective. Psychology of Sport and Exercise 2020;46:101603.

40. Watson NJ, Parker A. The Mystical and Sublime in Extreme Sports: Experiences of Psychological Well-Being or Christian Revelation? Studies in World Christianity, 2015;21:260–81.

41. Eitzen DS, Sage GH. Sociology of North American Sport. (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.; 199..

42. Ilubala-Ziwa JL, Hachintu J. The Significance of Religious Practices in Sport: The Case of Religion and Football in Zambia. Multidisciplinary Journal of Language and Social Sciences Education,, 2021;4(2), 101-114.

43. Engh MH. ‘Because I know God answers prayers’: The Role of Religion in African-Scandinavian Labour Migration. Alternation, 2018;SP:57–80.

44. Ofori PK, Biddle S, Lavallee D. The role of superstition among professional footballers in Ghana. AthleticInsight, 2012;4(2):115-126.

45. Slatinsky CP, Farren GL, Bartlett M, Fiaud V, Haasl R. Relations Among Locus of Control, Religiosity, and Resiliency in Collegiate Football Players. Pastoral Psychol, 2022.
How to Cite
Akgül M, Karafil A. Examining the relationship between religious perception and psychological well-being levels of university football players. Physical Education of Students. 2022;26(2):48-3. https://doi.org/10.15561/20755279.2022.0201