Discipline: Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Subcategory: Social Sciences/Psychology/Economics
Persephone Rogers - Virginia State University
Co-Author(s): Montel Williams, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA
Mattis and Jagers (2001) defined spirituality as a representation of one’s belief in a non-observable life force that guides one through life. MacDonald (2000) identified five dimensions of spirituality including Cognitive Orientation towards Spirituality, Experiential/Phenomenological Dimension of Spirituality, Existential Well-Being, Paranormal Beliefs, and Religiousness. According to MacDonald, individuals who possess the Cognitive Orientation Towards Spirituality dimension perceive spirituality in terms of its significance and relevance to personal functioning. The Experiential/Phenomenological Dimension of Spirituality refers to the experiential expressions of spirituality. Individuals who possess this dimension define spirituality according to the way that they have experienced it. Individuals who express spirituality according to the Existential Well-Being dimension define spirituality in terms of its relationship to the meaning of life and the purpose and limitations of human existence. The Paranormal Beliefs dimension refers to the relationship of spirituality to beliefs of psychological paranormal phenomena such as witchcraft and ghosts. The Religiousness dimension expresses spirituality intrinsically and extrinsically. It defines spirituality in terms of beliefs and attitudes of a religious nature, but also adherence to the rituals of the religion. Research has shown that women tend to be more spiritual (Bryant, 2007) and more stressed (APA, 2015) than men. The purpose of the present study was to examine differences in spirituality and stress between men and women. It was hypothesized that women would be more spiritual and would have lower levels of perceived stress than men. Ninety one men and women college students between the ages of 18 – 31 participated in the study. Spirituality was measured using the Expressions of Spirituality Inventory-Revised. Perceived Stress was measured using the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen & Williamson (1988). An Independent samples t – test revealed that gender had a significant effect on perceived stress. Contrary to the hypothesis, women had higher levels of perceived stress than men. Gender did not significantly affect spirituality.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This project was funded by the Virginia State University HBCU-UP grant.
Faculty Advisor: Vernessa R. Clark, N/A