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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Kimberly Christine Koessel
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Title: The Relationship between Spirituality and Personality
Dr. Joseph R. Morris, Chair
Dr. Stephen E. Craig
Dr. C. Dennis Simpson
Date: Thursday, November 10, 2011 10:00 a.m. to Noon
2211 Sangren Hall
Current literature is lacking a theoretical framework for understanding spirituality within the context of psychological functioning. Despite empirical support for the potential psychological benefits of spirituality, conceptual differences underlying definitions and measurements of spirituality have impeded theory development. Additionally, very few studies have explored spirituality from a secular perspective. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the relationship between spirituality and personality within a population of undergraduate and graduate students. This research obtains sample data through a demographic questionnaire, a measure of humanistic spirituality, and an inventory of normal personality. Quantitative statistical analyses are employed to explore a variety of relationships between variables.
Findings in the current study support those of previous research and suggest that spirituality and personality are related in a multidimensional manner. It appears that a significant amount of spiritual orientation can be “predicted” or explained by a combination of factors of normal personality. It remains unclear as to whether or not spirituality is influenced by personality, if personality influences the development of spiritual orientation, or if these two constructs are largely independent of one another. Overall, results of this study provide insight into the manner in which personality and a more secular type of spirituality are related. Additional research using similar measurements will likely add further clarification to this field and help advance the development of a psychological theory of spirituality.