Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 127–134 | Cite as

Childhood abuse and spiritual development among women religious

  • Caroline E. Smith
  • Duane F. Reinert
  • Maryanne Horne
  • Joanne M. Greer
  • Robert Wicks
Article

Abstract

Childhood abuse is known to have a negative influence on human development. This study expected to find a spiritual attitude of acceptance, as measured by the Ego Grasping Orientation scale, would help mitigate effects of childhood abuse in the realm of spiritual development. Spiritual Experience Index (SEI) scores for 350 religious women were treated as a measure of spiritual maturity. Contrary to expectation, however, the sexually and the physically abused groups with a more accepting attitude scored lower on the SEI than the abused with a more controlling attitude and the nonabused. Implications for spiritual development and well-being are discussed.

Keywords

Human Development Childhood Abuse Controlling Attitude Negative Influence Spiritual Experience 

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Copyright information

© Institutes of Religion and Health 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline E. Smith
    • 1
  • Duane F. Reinert
    • 2
  • Maryanne Horne
    • 3
  • Joanne M. Greer
    • 3
  • Robert Wicks
    • 3
  1. 1.with the Jewish Family ServiceBuffalo
  2. 2.with the Department of PsychologyConception Seminary CollegeConception
  3. 3.the Department of Pastoral CounselingLoyola College in MarylandColumbia

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