Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 465–478 | Cite as

Spiritual Maturity and Social Support in a National Study of a Male Religious Order

  • James P. FroehlichEmail author
  • Geraldine M. Fialkowski
  • N. J. Scheers
  • Peter C. Wilcox
  • Richard T. Lawrence

This national study analyzed the relationship of spiritual maturity and valued relationships with social support and life satisfaction using a random sample of male religious from one Roman Catholic order (N = 251). Four measures were used: (a) NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI; Costa & McCrae, 1992), (b) Spiritual Maturity Index (SMI; Ellison, 1983), (c) Social Support Appraisals Scale (SS-A; Vaux, et al., 1986), and (d) Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS; Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985). Hierarchical regression results showed that Spiritual Maturity was a significant predictor of Perceived Social Support (F (1, 237) = 20.662, p ≤ .001) and Life Satisfaction (F(1, 237) = 13.205, p ≤ .001). The study also showed that valued relationships inside (versus outside) the order predicted Life Satisfaction (F(1, 236) = 4.722, p ≤ .05). These findings demonstrate the importance of spiritual development and peer relationships as a way of enhancing vocational stability and satisfaction in male religious.


Catholic clergy religious vocation religious life life satisfaction male intimacy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • James P. Froehlich
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • Geraldine M. Fialkowski
    • 2
  • N. J. Scheers
    • 3
  • Peter C. Wilcox
    • 4
  • Richard T. Lawrence
    • 5
  1. 1.James P. Froehlich is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Ph.D. candidate in Pastoral Counseling, Loyola College in MarylandBaltimoreUS
  2. 2.Geraldine M. Fialkowski is a professor in Pastoral Counseling, Loyola College in MarylandBaltimoreUS
  3. 3.N. J. Scheers is an adjunct professor in Pastoral Counseling, Loyola College in MarylandBaltimoreUS
  4. 4.Peter C. Wilcox is an adjunct professor in Pastoral Counseling, Loyola College in MarylandBaltimoreUS
  5. 5.Richard T. Lawrence, is pastor of St. Vincent de Paul ChurchBaltimoreUS
  6. 6.LCPC, c/o Province of Saint AugustinePittsburghUS

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