STRESS AND SOCIAL SUPPORT IN SOUTH AFRICAN MINISTERS OF RELIGION
 
Spangenberg, J.J., University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
 
The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) (as measures of the emotional manifestations of stress), Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ), and a biographical questionnaire were completed by 157 ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Western and Southern Cape Province, South Africa. The same questionnaires were completed by 95 church council members from the same geographical area, who served as a control group. The BDI scores of equal percentages of ministers and church council members (21% each) were indicative of depression. Ministers had significantly higher anxiety levels than church council members, according to their scores on the STAI. Fifty-one percent of the ministers experienced above average anxiety levels while 34,4% experienced exceptionally high anxiety levels. Significant negative correlations were found between both the depression and anxiety scores of the ministers and the number of people from whom they received social support, as well as their subjective satisfaction with social support. No significant correlations were found between biographical variables and either depression or anxiety.