L’Observatoire des religions

The relationship between spiritual experiences, transpersonal trust, social support, and sense of coherence and mental distress—a comparison of spiritually practising and non-practising samples

Mental Health, Religion & Culture, Volume 12 Issue 1 2009

mercredi 26 novembre 2008 par Niko Kohls ; Harald Walach ; Markus Wirtz

We compared the pathways from exceptional experiences (measured with the Exceptional Experiences Questionnaire, EEQ), transpersonal trust (TPV), social support (F-SoZu) and sense of coherence (SOC) scales towards mental distress within a spiritually practising (SP) and a non-practising sample (NSP), using structural equation modelling. We found a high amount of variance explained for SOC (SP : R2 = 0.50 ; NSP : R2 = 0.61), a moderate amount for F-SoZU (SP : R2 = 0.17 ; NSP : R2 = 0.20) and for TPV a very small amount only in the SP sample (SP : R2 = 0.04 ; NSP : R2 = 0.00).
In contrast, for the EEQ, which grasps positive and negative spiritual, psychopathological, and visionary dream experiences, a strong relationship was found for the NSP sample (R2 = 0.53) but only a moderate relationship for the SP sample (R2 = 0.28). Further analysis revealed that the path coefficients from positive, negative spiritual, and psychopathological experiences to distress were significantly lower in the SP sample. Thus, as regular spiritual practice seems to alter the pathways to distress derived from positive and negative spiritual and psychopathological experiences, unidimensional questionnaires only grasping positive spiritual experiences seem to be inappropriate for explaining the intrapersonal mechanisms associated with regular spiritual practice.
Affiliations : Generation Research Program, Human Science Center, Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU), Munich, Germany Brain, Mind and Healing Program, Samueli Institute, Alexandria, VA, USA The University of Northampton, School of Social Sciences, Northampton, UK d Pdagogische Hochschule Freiburg, Institut fr Psychologie, Freiburg, Germany

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