Date of Award

1998

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Holland, C. J.

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation was threefold and consisted of (a) developing a comprehensive and scientifically meaningful definition of spirituality, (b) constructing and validating a psychometric assessment instrument designed to tap the devised definition of spirituality and (c) examining the relation of spirituality to personality and psychopathology. Using a two stage methodology, the study first examined the emergent factors from a principal axis factor analysis of 11 measures of spiritual constructs with data obtained from 534 undergraduate students. Four stable factors and two less consistent ones, were found and labelled, Cognitive-Affective Orientation, Experiential/Phenomenological Dimension, Religiosity, Paranormal Beliefs, Existential Well-Being, Products of Spirituality. Results of a common factor analysis between spirituality measures and the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised revealed that the Existential Well-Being and NEO-PI-R Neuroticism were conceptually similar but indicated that the remaining spirituality dimensions and NEO-PI-R constructs are independent of each other. In stage two, an item pool was created by the researcher to reflect the constructs embedded in the stage one factors and used to devise a new measure entitled the Expressions of Spirituality Inventory (ESI). Moreover, an instrument called the Supplementary Spirituality Scale (SSS) was also constructed using the items from the stage one measures which best represented the obtained factors from the stage one analyses. Stage two analyses of data obtained from 938 undergraduate students produced factor analytic findings which largely replicated the stage one spirituality factors with SSS items, ESI items, and with a number of new measures of spirituality. The stage one findings with the NEO-PI-R were also replicated in stage two---only the Existential Well-Being dimension shared a factor with NEO-PI-R Neuroticism; the remaining spirituality dimensions were largely independent of the five factor model of personality. Inspection of the psychometric properties of the ESI indicated that the instrument has good reliability and satisfactory factorial and construct validity. The relation of spirituality to psychopathology was explored by examining product-moment correlations between the ESI and SSS and the scale sets of the MMPI-2. Examination of the pattern of correlations obtained indicated that Existential Well-Being was strongly and inversely related to most aspects of psychopathology as tapped by the MMPI-2. The dissertation concludes with a discussion of the implications of the ESI and the factorial definition of spirituality upon which it is based, for organizing existing research findings and for guiding future research on spirituality, personality and health.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1997 .M33. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 61-09, Section: B, page: 4993. Adviser: Cornelius J. Holland. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1998.

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