Evaluating the Interplay Between Spirituality, Personality and Stress
- 778 Downloads
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.
- Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). NEO PI-R: Professional manual. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources Inc.Google Scholar
- Easwaran, E. (1991). Meditation: A simple eight-point program for translating spiritual ideals into daily life (2nd ed.). Tomales, CA: Nilgiri Press. (Original work published 1978).Google Scholar
- Moss, D. (2008). Special issue: The psychophysiology of respiration and the effects of breath training. Biofeedback, 36(2), 43–44.Google Scholar
- Richards, P. S., & Bergin, A. E. (2005). A spiritual strategy for counseling and psychotherapy (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Sherman, A. C., & Plante, T. G. (2001). Conclusions and future directions for research on faith and health. In Sherman. Plante (Ed.), Faith and health: Psychological perspectives. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Sherman, A. C., & Simonton, S. (2001). Assessment of religiousness and spirituality in health research. In Sherman. Plante (Ed.), Faith and health: Psychological perspectives. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Sideroff, S. E. (2004). Resilience: A functional approach to stress. California Biofeedback, 20(1), 1–4.Google Scholar
- Simpson, D. B., Newman, J. L., & Fuqua, D. R. (2007). Spirituality and personality: Accumulating evidence. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 26(1), 35–44.Google Scholar
- Spielberger, C. D. (1999). STAXI-2 state-trait anger expression inventory-2 professional manual. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.Google Scholar
- Taylor, S. E. (2008). Health psychology (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar