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October 2021

High stress life events and spiritual development

Author(s): Samuels, C. A.

Journal/Book: J Psychol Theol. 1999; 27: 13800 Biola Avenue, Biola University, La Mirada, CA 90639-0001, USA. Rosemead School Psychology. 250-260.

Abstract: This study investigated the relationships between the experience of common high stress life events and measures of adult spiritual development. Three hundred thirty-two respondents (116 male and 216 female) aged from 19 to 79 years completed a four-part survey. Intrinsic and extrinsic religiousness were measured using the Intrinsic/Extrinsic-Revised Scale (Gorsuch & MacPherson, 1989), and universalistic spiritual orientation was assessed using a modified version of the Religious Beliefs Inventory (Ring, 1986). The Fowler Scale (Barnes, Doyle, & Johnson, 1989) was used to estimate faith style. Experience of high stress life events was investigated using a life events survey adapted here from several previous studies, including Holmes and Rahe (1967) and Tennant and Andrews (1976). Results support the hypothesis that the experience of a high stress life event is associated with a universalistic spiritual orientation, but not the hypothesis that intrinsic religiousness is related to the experience of such events. The hypothesis that faith stage is associated with the experience of a high stress life event is supported for males only. This study lends support to earlier case-history reports which indicated that spiritual growth can be a constructive consequence of highly stressful life experiences.

Note: Article Samuels CA, Univ New England, Sch Psychol, Armidale, NSW 2351, AUSTRALIA


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