Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 81–90 | Cite as

Are Successful Applicants to the Priesthood Psychologically Healthy?

  • Thomas G. Plante
  • Arianna Aldridge
  • Christina Louie
Article

Abstract

The current investigation evaluated psychological and personality profiles of successful applicants to a major Roman Catholic religious order. The MMPI-2 and 16PF were administered to 68 applicants between 1990 and 2004 who subsequently entered seminary. Results indicate that these applicants to the priesthood were generally well-adjusted as well as being socially responsible, interpersonally sensitive and sociable. Findings also suggest some tendency for defensiveness and repression. Furthermore, dealing with perceived negative impulses such as anger and hostility may also be a concern for many of these men.

Keywords

Catholic priest applicants to seminary MMPI-2 16PF 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ashbrook, J. B., & Powell, R. K. (1967). Comparison of graduating and non-graduating theological students on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 14, 171–174.Google Scholar
  2. Banks, S., Mooney, W. T., Mucowski, R. J., & Williams, R. (1984). Progress in the evaluation and prediction of successful candidates for religious careers. Counseling and Values, 28, 82–91.Google Scholar
  3. Boston Globe Investigative Staff. (2002). Betrayal: The crisis in the Catholic Church. NY: Little Brown.Google Scholar
  4. Cattell, R. B., Cattell, A. K., & Cattell, H. E. P. (1993). Sixteen Personality Factors Questionnaire, Fifth Edition. Champaign, IL: Institute for Personality and Ability Testing.Google Scholar
  5. Doyle, T. P. (2003). Roman Catholic clericalism, religious duress, and clergy abuse. Pastoral Psychology, 51, 189–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dunn, P. J. (1990). Priesthood: A re-examination of the Roman Catholic theology of the presbyterate. New York, NY: Alba House.Google Scholar
  7. Ekhardt, B. N., & Goldsmith, W. M. (1984). Personality factors of men and women pastoral candidates, Part 1: Motivational profiles. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 12, 109–118.Google Scholar
  8. Francis, L. J., Payne, V. J., Jones, S. H. (2001). Psychological types of male Anglican clergy in Wales. Journal of Psychological Types, 56, 19–23.Google Scholar
  9. Gafford, J. S. (2000). Variations in psychological functioning among Roman Catholic religious professionals. (Doctoral Dissertation, Saint Louis University, 2000). Dissertation Abstracts International, 62, 547.Google Scholar
  10. Goodstein, L. (2003). Trail of pain in Church crisis leads to nearly every diocese. New York Times, January 12, 2003.Google Scholar
  11. Hathaway, S. R., & McKinley, J. C. (1989). Manual for the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2TM (MMPI-2TM). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  12. Keddy, P. J., Erdberg, P., & Sammon, S. D. (1990). The psychological assessment of Catholic clergy and religious referred for residential treatment. Pastoral Psychology, 38, 147–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kimmons, S. E. (2002). Suitability and persistence in Roman Catholic religious life using the MMPI/MMPI-2 as a predictive instrument. (Doctoral Dissertation, Loyola University of Chicago, 2002). Dissertation Abstracts International, 63, 531.Google Scholar
  14. Kosek, R. B. (2000). The desire for god: An assessment of seminarians’ spirituality through the lens of the “big five.” Pastoral Psychology, 49, 43–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Meloy, J. R. (1986). Narcissistic psychopathology and the clergy. Pastoral Psychology, 35, 50–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Musson, D. J., Francis, L. J. (2002). A comparison of the psychometric properties of the 16PF4 and 16PF5 among male Anglican clergy. Pastoral Psychology, 50, 281–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Nauss, A. (1973). The ministerial personality: Myth or reality? Journal of Religion and Health, 12, 77–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Patrick, J. (1990). Assessment of narcissistic psychopathology in the clergy. Pastoral Psychology, 38, 173–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Patrick, J. (1991). Personality characteristics of male and female pastoral candidates. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 19, 186–196.Google Scholar
  20. Plante, T. G., Manuel, G. M., & Tandez, J. (1996). Personality characteristics of successful applicants to the priesthood. Pastoral Psychology, 45, 29–40.Google Scholar
  21. Plante, T. G. (Ed). (2004). Sin against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church. Westport, CT: Greenwood.Google Scholar
  22. Sipe, A. W. R. (2004). The crisis of sexual abuse and the celibate/sexual agenda of the Church. In T. G. Plante (Ed). Sin against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church. (pp. 61–72). Westport, CT: Greenwood.Google Scholar
  23. Thorson, J. A. (1992). Another look at pastoral canidates’ personality traits. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 20, 47–50.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas G. Plante
    • 1
    • 2
  • Arianna Aldridge
    • 1
  • Christina Louie
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentSanta Clara UniversitySanta Clara
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicinePalo Alto

Personalised recommendations