, Volume 53, Issue 6, pp 515-533

Spiritual Disposition and Understanding Illness

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Although Dull and Skokan (1995) proposed a cognitive model of the effect of religion on health, they neglected to clearly identify the multi-dimensional nature of religion as a cognitive schema. The present paper identifies various aspects of spiritual disposition (defined as personality and beliefs) that can play a role in an individual’s adaptation to illness. Specifically, this paper reviews the factors of religious doctrine and affiliation, spiritual beliefs, religious orientation, God locus of control, faith and hope as aspects of a spiritual disposition and explores how they can function as resources and/or negative factors in the process of adjustment to illness. Implications for clinical health care (e.g., pastoral counsellors) are drawn from this review.