Evaluating the Interplay Between Spirituality, Personality and Stress
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Spirituality and the big five personality traits may be risk or protective factors for coping with stress. We hypothesized young adults who reported higher spirituality ratings would demonstrate lower sympathetic nervous system arousal and better emotional coping when exposed to a laboratory stressor compared to those who rated themselves lower in spirituality. We also compared spirituality groups on trait anger, neuroticism, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and openness to experience. Eighty participants completed trait-state anger, personality and spirituality questionnaires and were grouped into low, average and high spirituality. Participants’ physiological responses were monitored before and during a stressful event. Significant differences were found between low, average and high spirituality groups’ respiration rate and emotional response to the stressor. Significant differences were also found between spirituality groups in extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, trait anger and neuroticism. Females reported higher levels of spirituality and conscientiousness than males.
KeywordsSpirituality Personality Stress
This project was supported by Grant # 2001-SI-FX-0006 awarded b y the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice.
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