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A multivariate theory of God concept, religious motivation, locus of control, coping, and Spiritual Well-Being.

A previous factor analytic study of the same data set was published as an incremental validity study of a new scale (Wong-McDonald & Gorsuch, 2000). The current analysis examines the multivariate domains of God concepts, motivation, religious coping, and locus of control for the prediction of Spiritual Well-Being. Questionnaires were completed by 151 Christian undergraduates. A traditional benevolent conceptualization of God and Intrinsic motivation were found to relate to greater Spiritual Well-Being (SWB). Moreover, Self-Directing coping associated negatively with SWB, while locus of control in God and Surrender coping related positively with it. Results indicate that acting independently from God relates to a lesser sense of Spiritual Well-Being, while reliance and intimacy with God contribute to greater well-being. Implications for Christian educators and counselors were discussed.

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Psychology of religion has been captivated by how religion relates to health, happiness, and various problems. The guiding research question seems to be "What are the practical implications of knowledge about the role of religion in enhancing and retarding personal and societal well-being?" (Paloutzian & Kirkpatrick, 1995, p. 5). The focus is not on what people should believe, but on how they utilize their beliefs in dealing with life's problems (Paloutzian & Kirkpatrick). Yet Scripture states that the object of one's beliefs must be true (i.e., not a myth, delusion, or superstition) or the believing would be in vain (1 Cor. 15:1-2; 2 Thes. 2:11). The source and content of religion would shape and determine the utilization of religion for the enhancement or retardation of well-being. The focus of research in the integration of psychology and Christianity needs to stem from the what rather than the how.

Historically, research in the psychology of religion have reported ambiguous results on the relationship between religiousness and well-being (Hathaway & Pargament, 1990; Schaefer & Gorsuch, 1991), with some studies finding a positive relationship (Baker & Gorsuch, 1982; Bergin, Masters, & Richards, 1987; Koenig, Kvala, & Ferrel, 1988; McFadden, 1995), some reporting a negative relationship (Graff & Ladd, 1971), while still others suggesting that the two domains were unrelated (Markides, Levin, & Ray, 1987). This ambiguity was somewhat clarified by the differentiation of religiousness into multivariate domains (Gorsuch, 1984). Another explanation offered was that the problem was due to suppression effects by mediating variables (Hathaway & Pargament, 1990). We propose that the ambiguity can be further clarified by incorporating theology as a research premise.

Theologically, the what of Christianity centers on the Who, the Person of Jesus Christ (Jer. 9:24; 2 Tim. 1:12). It is the knowledge of God (i.e., knowing Him) which shapes the believers' relationship with God which will in turn affect their behavior and well-being (Acts 17:28; Jn. 17:3; 1 Jn. 2:5-6). It is upon this theological premise that the current study is based. Building on previous research, this study is designed to incorporate the multivariate domains of religiousness (Gorsuch, 1984; Hathaway & Pargament, 1990; Schaefer & Gorsuch, 1991) and to examine the roles of such variables within a theological framework.

Knowledge of God precedes spiritual birth and the relationship with God (Jer. 24:7; Jn. 17:3). Knowledge of God can be expressed as conceptualization of God (Gorsuch, 1968; Schaefer & Gorsuch, 1991, 1992) while the believer's relationship with God can be described as religious motivations (Gorsuch, 1994; Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989; Gorsuch & Venable, 1983). Both of these domains have been established as significant predictors of psychological adjustment (Donahue, 1985). The way believers think about and relate to God will shape their perceptions of the world and affect their behaviors (Eph. 4:22-24; Jn. 15:1-5), which will in turn affect their experiences of life (Ps. 1; Phil. 4:11-13).

People's world views include perceptions of power or their locus of control (Bennett, 1991; Kopplin, 1976; Levenson, 1981; Rotter, 1966). Locus of control (LOC) characterizes individuals in accordance to their beliefs that life events are dependent on their own actions or on external factors: whether God, themselves, other powerful figures, or luck is ultimately in charge of the world.

Behavior can be described by how people deal with problems and stressors, or by coping. Religious coping describes the way individuals utilize their faith in solving problems (Pargament et al., 1988). LOC has been shown to relate significantly to coping (Pargament et al., 1988) and to have a significant effect on health and well-being (Brown & Siegel, 1988; Propst, 1991; Schulz, 1980; Seligman, 1975). Finally, the believers' experience of life is characterized by their Spiritual Well-Being (Moberg & Brusek, 1978; Paloutzian & Ellison, 1982). This domain describes life satisfaction in general and in relationship to God (Paloutzian & Ellison, 1982).

The current study has been designed to utilize classical multivariate domain analysis (Schaeffer & Gorsuch, 1991), to "establish and develop significant dimensions within the domains of interest,... to integrate the relevant domains of the superordinate domain into a unified theory and to test that theory against the criterion variable of interest" (pp. 449 & 451). The significant dimensions are knowledge of God (God concepts), relationship with God (motivation), locus of control, and problem-solving style (religious coping). These relevant domains are integrated into a unified theory within a theological framework (Eph. 4:22-24; Jn. 15:1-5). The believers' concept of God and their relationship with God will affect their perceptions of the world (i.e. locus of control) and their behaviors (i.e. ways of problem-solving), which will in turn affect their experience of life (Ps. 1; Phil. 4:11-13). The experience of life (i.e. well-being) is the criterion variable upon which the theory of multivariate domains will be tested. Please refer to the flow chart on Figure 1 for variable abbreviations, to follow the discussion on the domains of interest, and to aid in the understanding of the proposed relationships of each domain with one another.

God Concepts and Motivations

The conceptualization of God has been described with multiple factors based on responses to adjective ratings (Gorsuch, 1968). Eleven primary concepts of God (Benevolent, Wrathful, Omni, Guiding, False, Stable, Deistic, Worthless, Powerful, Condemning, and Caring) have been identified (Schaefer & Gorsuch, 1992). (The Appendix contains a list of descriptors used with these concepts.)

Previous research has identified several types of religious motivations (Batson & Ventis, 1982; Gorsuch, 1994; Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989). The Intrinsic (I) style describes a type of internalized motivation in which religion is a central focus of a believer's life. The Extrinsic (E) type represents a more external motivation in which religion is adopted mainly for obtaining benefits and gains. Intrinsic believers internalize their religious beliefs and live by them, whereas Extrinsics see religion as mainly utilitarian. The E motivation was further distinguished by Gorsuch and McPherson (1989) into Extrinsic-Social (Es), in which religion is utilized for social gains (e.g., for social desirability), and Extrinsic-Personal (Ep), in which religion is used to obtain personal benefits (e.g., a peace of mind). Finally, Batson and Schoenrade (1991) have described an additional motivation, Quest (Q), characterized by a readiness to face existential questions, self-criticism, perception of religious doubt as positive, and an openness to change. Within this approach, "there may or may not be a clear belief in a transcendent reality, but there is a transcendent, religious aspect to the individual's life" (Batson, Schoenrade, & Ventis, 1993, p. 166).

People's relationship with God is dependent upon their knowledge and conceptualization of God. Seeing God as Benevolent, Omni, Guiding, Stable, Powerful, and Caring would motivate believers to draw nearer to God. On the contrary, persons not having such an imagery may not have the desire to internalize their beliefs. It is hypothesized that (1) believers adhering to a traditional benevolent perception of God would belong to the Intrinsic orientation; thus, there would be a significant positive relationship between the traditional God concepts and Intrinsicness, and that (2) people who do not have such a conceptualization of God would belong to the Es, Ep, and Q motivations, and that a negative relationship would be found.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Motivations and Locus of Control

Locus of control (LOC) has traditionally been described as internal and external (Rotter, 1966). Internal control characterizes Personal control (PS) where one sees life events as dependent on one's own actions (Levenson, 1981). External control (Bennett, 1991) describes attribution of event outcomes to outside forces such as Luck (L) and Powerful Others (PO). Finally, God control (G) describes the belief that life events are determined by God (Kopplin, 1976). God control integrates both external and internal LOC since God is both the awesome Other that one worships and also the Holy Presence who resides within the believer.

Theologically, a sense of Personal control is a God-given aspect of the human personality. When God created human kind, people were given dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:28). For the Christian, this sense of Personal control is balanced by knowing that ultimately God is in control of all things. It is hypothesized that (1) Intrinsic believers who live out the doctrines of their religion will have a sense of Personal and God control; thus, there will be a positive relationship between I and PS and G, and (2) people with the Extrinsic and Quest motivations will tend to have an external locus of control, placing their faith more on Powerful Others or on Luck; thus, E and Q will correlate positively with PO and L.

Motivations and Religious Coping

Pargament et al. (1988) described three styles of religious coping: (1) A Collaborative (C) approach describes a problem-solving approach in which the individual and God are in active partnership in solving problems, (2) a Self-Directive (SD) style is characterized by a reliance on self rather than on God in dealing with life's problems, and (3) in Deferring (D) coping, the individual leaves the problems for God to resolve; one is passive and God is active. An additional style, Surrender (S) describes coping through self-relinquishment and submission to God (Wong-McDonald & Gorsuch, 2000) when one's will is in conflict with God's will (Matt. 26:39).

Religious motivations may be characterized by one's approach to problem solving or coping. Schaefer and Gorsuch (1991) found significant positive correlations between Intrinsicness and Collaborative coping and also with Deferring coping. Moreover, Intrinsicness was found to correlate negatively with the Self-Directing style. Extrinsic believers, on the other hand, used both Self-Directing and Deferring styles significantly more than those who do not adhere to the E orientation. Results indicate that Collaborative coping describes only I, while Deferring is more characteristic of E. Pargament et al. (1988) suggested that Quest seems to relate to the Self-Directing style, E may characterize Deferring, and I may describe the Collaborative approach. They further proposed that D may be part of a religious orientation characterized by reliance on external authority to meet particular needs, whereas C seems to be part of an internalized committed form of religiousness based on an intimate interactive relationship with God. It is hypothesized that (1) I will correlate positively with C, D, and S, and negatively with SD, (2) Es and Ep will relate positively with D, and (3) Q will have a positive relationship with SD.

Locus of Control and Religious Coping

In the current study, it is proposed that the relationship between LOC and coping is bidirectional. LOC will affect one's coping style and vice versa. People's internal attributes will dictate their behaviors, and behaviors, in turn, will modify or solidify their internal characteristics. The believers' LOC may influence the style they adopt for coping, and the effectiveness of their coping approach may affect their perception of control.

Previous study (Pargament et al., 1988) indicated that Personal control was exhibited by people who adhere to both Self-Directing and Collaborative approaches. Additionally, people who cope in a Collaborative manner also tended to belong to the Intrinsic orientation. In contrast, those with their loci of control in Chance or in God tended to use Deferring coping. It is hypothesized that (1) LOC in God will have a positive relationship with C, D, and S coping, (2) Personal control will relate positively with C but negatively with D, (3) LOC in Powerful Others will correlate positively with SD and negatively with D and S, and (4) LOC in Luck will have a positive relationship with SD and a negative one with C, D, and S.

Locus of Control, Coping, and Spiritual Well-Being

Traditionally, very few studies mention the role of religion in perceived well-being (Paloutzian & Ellison, 1982). In a pioneering work, Moberg and Brusek (1978) proposed that Spiritual Well-Being is best represented by two dimensions: a vertical one to characterize one's relationship with God, and a horizontal dimension to describe a person's life purpose and satisfaction apart from religion. Paloutzian and Ellison (1982) operationalized these constructs into Religious Well-Being (RWB) and Existential Well-Being (EWB) respectively. Additionally, the sum of these two scales (RWB and EWB) constitutes Spiritual Well-Being (SWB), representing the total well-being of both the vertical and horizontal dimensions.

Locus of control studies have generally associated internal control with greater health and well-being than external control (Brown & Siegel, 1988; Propst, 1991; Schulz, 1980; Seligman, 1975). God control has been found to be adaptive in that it associates with lower depression for Caucasians (Bjorck, Lee, & Cohen, 1997). It is, therefore, expected that a locus of control in Luck or in Powerful Others would correlate negatively with well-being, while a locus of control in self or God would correlate positively with well-being.

With respect to styles of coping, Schaefer and Gorsuch (1991) found that anxiety was positively correlated with SD and negatively with D and C. Thus, it is hypothesized that well-being will correlate negatively with Self-Directing coping, and positively with the Deferring, Collaborative, and Surrender dimensions.

Motivations, God Concepts, and Well-Being

Research indicates that Intrinsicness is a predictor of better adjustment (Koenig, Kvala, & Ferrel, 1988). Intrinsicness was found to correlate negatively with anxiety (Baker & Gorsuch, 1982; Schaefer & Gorsuch, 1991) and positively with "better" personality functioning; the opposite is true of E (Bergin, Masters, & Richards, 1987). Therefore, it is hypothesized that well-being will correlate positively with I but negatively with Es and Ep.

With respect to God concepts, a positive relationship was found between self-esteem and loving, accepting, God images (Benson & Spilka, 1973). Moreover, Schaefer and Gorsuch (1991) found a negative relationship between anxiety and conceptualizations of God as Benevolent, Omni, Guiding, Stable, and Powerful, and a positive correlation between anxiety and views of God as False and Deistic. It is expected, therefore, that the traditional positive conceptualizations of God would contribute to greater well-being.

A study by Hathaway and Pargament (1990) indicated that the relationship between religious motivation and psychosocial competence has its influence through coping styles. Theologically, we propose that the effect of the believers' knowledge of and relationship with God to their well-being would be significant regardless of other variables (Jn. 17:3; Col. 1:9-10; Rom. 8:28 & 1:28). It is hypothesized that the relationships between I motivation and well-being, and between God concepts and well-being as postulated will remain after controlling for coping styles and LOC.

The flow chart for analysis, Figure 1, exemplifies the thesis of the current study. It is postulated that knowledge or conceptualization of God will affect the relationship with God or religious motivation. Motivation will influence perceptions of power (i.e., locus of control) and behavior (i.e., coping) which will have a direct bearing on the experience of life or Spiritual Well-Being. Moreover, it is hypothesized that God concepts and motivation will have a direct relationship with SWB regardless of LOC and coping.

Note that Figure 1 is an aid to understanding the analysis, rather than a structural equation model. The difference is that structural equation modeling uses latent variables but this analysis uses observed variables. Also, there are no latent variables with multiple indicators. A construct in Figure 1, such as Motivation, has different motives. Finally, the specific concern is not about paths between one variable and another, but about the relationships between blocks of variables. For example, the prediction is that God Concepts are, as a set of variables, related to Motivation, as another set of variables. Each set of constructs and the relationships between them were examined via hierarchical multiple regression analysis.

God Concepts and Motivations

The conceptualization of God has been described with multiple factors based on responses to adjective ratings (Gorsuch, 1968). Eleven primary concepts of God (Benevolent, Wrathful, Omni, Guiding, False, Stable, Deistic, Worthless, Powerful, Condemning, and Caring) have been identified (Schaefer & Gorsuch, 1992). (The Appendix contains a list of descriptors used with these concepts.)

Previous research has identified several types of religious motivations (Batson & Ventis, 1982; Gorsuch, 1994; Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989). The Intrinsic (I) style describes a type of internalized motivation in which religion is a central focus of a believer's life. The Extrinsic (E) type represents a more external motivation in which religion is adopted mainly for obtaining benefits and gains. Intrinsic believers internalize their religious beliefs and live by them, whereas Extrinsics see religion as mainly utilitarian. The E motivation was further distinguished by Gorsuch and McPherson (1989) into Extrinsic-Social (Es), in which religion is utilized for social gains (e.g., for social desirability), and Extrinsic-Personal (Ep), in which religion is used to obtain personal benefits (e.g., a peace of mind). Finally, Batson and Schoenrade (1991) have described an additional motivation, Quest (Q), characterized by a readiness to face existential questions, self-criticism, perception of religious doubt as positive, and an openness to change. Within this approach, "there may or may not be a clear belief in a transcendent reality, but there is a transcendent, religious aspect to the individual's life" (Batson, Schoenrade, & Ventis, 1993, p. 166).

People's relationship with God is dependent upon their knowledge and conceptualization of God. Seeing God as Benevolent, Omni, Guiding, Stable, Powerful, and Caring would motivate believers to draw nearer to God. On the contrary, persons not having such an imagery may not have the desire to internalize their beliefs. It is hypothesized that (1) believers adhering to a traditional benevolent perception of God would belong to the Intrinsic orientation; thus, there would be a significant positive relationship between the traditional God concepts and Intrinsicness, and that (2) people who do not have such a conceptualization of God would belong to the Es, Ep, and Q motivations, and that a negative relationship would be found.

Motivations and Locus of Control

Locus of control (LOC) has traditionally been described as internal and external (Rotter, 1966). Internal control characterizes Personal control (PS) where one sees life events as dependent on one's own actions (Levenson, 1981). External control (Bennett, 1991) describes attribution of event outcomes to outside forces such as Luck (L) and Powerful Others (PO). Finally, God control (G) describes the belief that life events are determined by God (Kopplin, 1976). God control integrates both external and internal LOC since God is both the awesome Other that one worships and also the Holy Presence who resides within the believer.

Theologically, a sense of Personal control is a God-given aspect of the human personality. When God created human kind, people were given dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:28). For the Christian, this sense of Personal control is balanced by knowing that ultimately God is in control of all things. It is hypothesized that (1) Intrinsic believers who live out the doctrines of their religion will have a sense of Personal and God control; thus, there will be a positive relationship between I and PS and G, and (2) people with the Extrinsic and Quest motivations will tend to have an external locus of control, placing their faith more on Powerful Others or on Luck; thus, E and Q will correlate positively with PO and L.

Motivations and Religious Coping

Pargament et al. (1988) described three styles of religious coping: (1) A Collaborative (C) approach describes a problem-solving approach in which the individual and God are in active partnership in solving problems, (2) a Self-Directive (SD) style is characterized by a reliance on self rather than on God in dealing with life's problems, and (3) in Deferring (D) coping, the individual leaves the problems for God to resolve; one is passive and God is active. An additional style, Surrender (S) describes coping through self-relinquishment and submission to God (Wong-McDonald & Gorsuch, 2000) when one's will is in conflict with God's will (Matt. 26:39).

Religious motivations may be characterized by one's approach to problem solving or coping. Schaefer and Gorsuch (1991) found significant positive correlations between Intrinsicness and Collaborative coping and also with Deferring coping. Moreover, Intrinsicness was found to correlate negatively with the Self-Directing style. Extrinsic believers, on the other hand, used both Self-Directing and Deferring styles significantly more than those who do not adhere to the E orientation. Results indicate that Collaborative coping describes only I, while Deferring is more characteristic of E. Pargament et al. (1988) suggested that Quest seems to relate to the Self-Directing style, E may characterize Deferring, and I may describe the Collaborative approach. They further proposed that D may be part of a religious orientation characterized by reliance on external authority to meet particular needs, whereas C seems to be part of an internalized committed form of religiousness based on an intimate interactive relationship with God. It is hypothesized that (1) I will correlate positively with C, D, and S, and negatively with SD, (2) Es and Ep will relate positively with D, and (3) Q will have a positive relationship with SD.

Locus of Control and Religious Coping

In the current study, it is proposed that the relationship between LOC and coping is bidirectional. LOC will affect one's coping style and vice versa. People's internal attributes will dictate their behaviors, and behaviors, in turn, will modify or solidify their internal characteristics. The believers' LOC may influence the style they adopt for coping, and the effectiveness of their coping approach may affect their perception of control.

Previous study (Pargament et al., 1988) indicated that Personal control was exhibited by people who adhere to both Self-Directing and Collaborative approaches. Additionally, people who cope in a Collaborative manner also tended to belong to the Intrinsic orientation. In contrast, those with their loci of control in Chance or in God tended to use Deferring coping. It is hypothesized that (1) LOC in God will have a positive relationship with C, D, and S coping, (2) Personal control will relate positively with C but negatively with D, (3) LOC in Powerful Others will correlate positively with SD and negatively with D and S, and (4) LOC in Luck will have a positive relationship with SD and a negative one with C, D, and S.

Locus of Control, Coping, and Spiritual Well-Being

Traditionally, very few studies mention the role of religion in perceived well-being (Paloutzian & Ellison, 1982). In a pioneering work, Moberg and Brusek (1978) proposed that Spiritual Well-Being is best represented by two dimensions: a vertical one to characterize one's relationship with God, and a horizontal dimension to describe a person's life purpose and satisfaction apart from religion. Paloutzian and Ellison (1982) operationalized these constructs into Religious Well-Being (RWB) and Existential Well-Being (EWB) respectively. Additionally, the sum of these two scales (RWB and EWB) constitutes Spiritual Well-Being (SWB), representing the total well-being of both the vertical and horizontal dimensions.

Locus of control studies have generally associated internal control with greater health and well-being than external control (Brown & Siegel, 1988; Propst, 1991; Schulz, 1980; Seligman, 1975). God control has been found to be adaptive in that it associates with lower depression for Caucasians (Bjorck, Lee, & Cohen, 1997). It is, therefore, expected that a locus of control in Luck or in Powerful Others would correlate negatively with well-being, while a locus of control in self or God would correlate positively with well-being.

With respect to styles of coping, Schaefer and Gorsuch (1991) found that anxiety was positively correlated with SD and negatively with D and C. Thus, it is hypothesized that well-being will correlate negatively with Self-Directing coping, and positively with the Deferring, Collaborative, and Surrender dimensions.

Motivations, God Concepts, and Well-Being

Research indicates that Intrinsicness is a predictor of better adjustment (Koenig, Kvala, & Ferrel, 1988). Intrinsicness was found to correlate negatively with anxiety (Baker & Gorsuch, 1982; Schaefer & Gorsuch, 1991) and positively with "better" personality functioning; the opposite is true of E (Bergin, Masters, & Richards, 1987). Therefore, it is hypothesized that well-being will correlate positively with I but negatively with Es and Ep.

With respect to God concepts, a positive relationship was found between self-esteem and loving, accepting, God images (Benson & Spilka, 1973). Moreover, Schaefer and Gorsuch (1991) found a negative relationship between anxiety and conceptualizations of God as Benevolent, Omni, Guiding, Stable, and Powerful, and a positive correlation between anxiety and views of God as False and Deistic. It is expected, therefore, that the traditional positive conceptualizations of God would contribute to greater well-being.

A study by Hathaway and Pargament (1990) indicated that the relationship between religious motivation and psychosocial competence has its influence through coping styles. Theologically, we propose that the effect of the believers' knowledge of and relationship with God to their well-being would be significant regardless of other variables (Jn. 17:3; Col. 1:9-10; Rom. 8:28 & 1:28). It is hypothesized that the relationships between I motivation and well-being, and between God concepts and well-being as postulated will remain after controlling for coping styles and LOC.

The flow chart for analysis, Figure 1, exemplifies the thesis of the current study. It is postulated that knowledge or conceptualization of God will affect the relationship with God or religious motivation. Motivation will influence perceptions of power (i.e., locus of control) and behavior (i.e., coping) which will have a direct bearing on the experience of life or Spiritual Well-Being. Moreover, it is hypothesized that God concepts and motivation will have a direct relationship with SWB regardless of LOC and coping.

Note that Figure 1 is an aid to understanding the analysis, rather than a structural equation model. The difference is that structural equation modeling uses latent variables but this analysis uses observed variables. Also, there are no latent variables with multiple indicators. A construct in Figure 1, such as Motivation, has different motives. Finally, the specific concern is not about paths between one variable and another, but about the relationships between blocks of variables. For example, the prediction is that God Concepts are, as a set of variables, related to Motivation, as another set of variables. Each set of constructs and the relationships between them were examined via hierarchical multiple regression analysis.

METHOD

Participants

Participant selection and demographics have been previously described in detail (Wong-McDonald & Gorsuch, 2000) and are summarized here. Fifty-seven male and 94 female undergraduates from Christian colleges and churches in California participated in this study. The sample was comprised of a multiethnic group of conservative Christians from various denominations. They indicated that spirituality (M = 8.1, SD = 1.24) and religion (M = 7.18, SD = 1.95) were very important to them, on a scale from 1 (not at all) to 9 (extremely important). All of them profess to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (M = 6.9, SD = 0.34, on a scale of 1 (definitely not believe) to 7 (Definitely believe). They attended worship services at least once per week and have been believers in their faith for about 11.86 years (SD = 6.83).

Measures

Conceptualization of God was examined with 11 items from the God Concept Adjective Checklist (Gorsuch, 1968). This measure assesses the degree to which one sees God as Benevolent (forgiving, loving, merciful), Wrathful (punishing, sharp, stern), Omni (omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient), Guiding (gentle, helpful, supporting), False (unfaithful, unimportant), Stable (fatherly, firm), Deistic (impersonal, inaccessible, mythical), Worthless (weak, cold), Powerful (not feeble), Condemning (avenging, critical, cruel), or Caring (charitable, considerate). Each conceptualization was listed with its descriptors in parenthesis on the questionnaire.

The I/E Revised Scale (Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989) and the Quest Scale (Batson & Schoenrade, 1991) were used to assess religious motivation. Locus of control was examined with the State Dependent Locus of Control Scale (Bennett, 1991) to measure the attribution of event to self, luck, powerful others, or God. Religious coping was assessed with the Religious Problem Solving Scale (Pargament et al., 1988) and the Surrender Scale (Wong-McDonald & Gorsuch, 2000). Finally, well-being was examined with the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (Paloutzian & Ellison, 1982). All scales were rated on a 5-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). For a detailed description of these measures, see Wong-McDonald & Gorsuch (2000).

Procedure

The questionnaires were counterbalanced as odd and even forms, with the measures presented in reversed order on the even ones. They were administered anonymously either in a group testing at the colleges and churches, or through self-administration.

RESULTS

No significant difference was found between the odd and even forms. An overall test with the forms as the dependent variable and all other variables as independent variables gave R = .09, with p = .20.

Principal axis factor analysis of the God concept items were extracted and rotated by varimax/promax (k = 4). The number of factors were established by the scree test of eigenvalues and revealed one primary factor, a Christian God factor, and Wrathfulness (WF), with Wrathfulness being independent thereof. This is expected given the past literature reporting that the parts of the WF item form their own factor (Gorsuch, 1968; Schaefer & Gorsuch, 1991). Pearson r correlation coefficient between the Christian God factor and Wrathfulness was not significant with r = -.06. Wrathfulness consisted of only one item (i.e. "God is Wrathful."). The Christian God factor consisted of positive loadings on Omni, Benevolent, Guiding, Stable, Powerful, and Caring, and negative loadings on Deistic, False, Worthless, and Condemning, with factor loadings greater than .5. (All factor loadings are given in the Appendix.) Items were scored for a Christian God scale and a Wrathfulness scale.

Descriptive statistics for God Concepts are in Table 1. Those for the other measures were presented in detail in Wong-McDonald & Gorsuch (2000).

Intercorrelations were computed for the styles of motivation. All the correlations were significant at p < .01. I correlated with Es, Ep, and Q at -.41, -.41, and -.30 respectively. Es related to Ep and Q at .37 and .38 respectively. Ep and Q correlated at .33. Results indicate that I is distinctly different from Es, Ep, and Q, while the later three styles share a moderate similarity.

God Concepts and Motivations

It was hypothesized that God concepts would contribute to motivations in that the traditional God factors would correlate positively with I and negatively with Es, Ep, and Q. The relationship between God concepts and motivation was assessed via multiple regression analysis. Zero order correlations and beta weights are presented in Table 2. Note that the [beta]s represented in all the tables have all other independent variables partialled out, and hence are the multiple regression beta weights. Significant positive beta weights were found between the God Concept variables (i.e., Christian God factor and Wrathfulness) and Intrinsicness, and significant negative [beta]s were found between the Christian God factor with both Extrinsic orientations. No significant relationship was found for Quest, or for WF with the other three styles of motivation.

Since many significant tests were computed, the overall alpha significance level was protected by computing multivariate tests. The first major multivariate test related all of the variables in the flow chart, Figure 1, to Religious Well-Being and Existential Well-Being as dependent variables. Since the multivariate test was significant with Pillai-Bartlett V = .81, F(28, 272) = 7.82, p < .0001 (UniMult; Gorusch, 1991), each of the dependent variables was related to all the independent variables separately as protected post hoc tests. All tests were significant beyond the .01 level. This logic of computing an overall multivariate test and then following up significant results with post hoc tests was followed at each step of the analysis. The overall test is presented as the multiple correlation on the first row of Tables 2-8, with the beta weights for each analysis being presented in each table.

Motivations and Locus of Control

For locus of control, only two significant zero order correlations were found: Between Luck control and God Control (r = -.49) and between Luck control and control by Powerful Others (r = .41). Both were significant at the p < .01 level.

For the relationship between motivations and locus of control, it was hypothesized that I would have a positive correlation with G and PS, and that Q and E will relate positively with PO and L. To examine these hypotheses, beta weights were computed by removing the effects of the other motivational styles. For example, for the [beta] between God Control and Intrinsicness, the effects of Es, Ep, and Q have been removed. Zero order correlations were calculated as comparisons. Results are shown in Table 3. As predicted, a significant positive beta weight was found between I and God control. No significant relationship was found between I and PS, but a significant negative beta weight was found with Luck control. The only significant beta weight for the Extrinsic motivation was between Es and PO. With respect to Quest, significant [beta]s were found with PO and L.

Motivations and Religious Coping

Intercorrelations among the styles of coping were found to be significant at the p [less than or equal to].01 level. Collaborative coping correlated with SD, D, and S at -.31, .35, and .49 respectively. Surrender coping related with SD and D at -.66 and .39. No significant correlation was found between D and SD.

It was hypothesized that (1) I will correlate positively with C, D, and S, and negatively with SD, (2) Es and Ep will relate positively with D, and (3) Q will have a positive relationship with SD. Results from the multiple regression analysis between motivations and coping are presented in Table 4. As expected, significant positive beta weights were found between Intrinsicness with C, D, and S, and a negative relationship was found between I and SD. No significant relationship was found for Es. Ep correlated positively with D, and Q was found to correlate positively with C. Rather than Q relating to SD, it had a significant positive beta weight with C.

Locus of Control and Religious Coping

The relationship between LOC and coping was proposed as bidirectional. Thus, zero order correlations were computed instead of beta weights. It was hypothesized that (1) LOC in God will have a positive relationship with C, D, and S coping, (2) Personal control will relate positively with C but negatively with D, (3) LOC in Powerful Others will correlate positively with SD and negatively with D and S, and (4) LOC in Luck will have a positive relationship with SD and a negative one with C, D, and S. A correlation matrix was computed between the two constructs. Results are presented at Table 5. All hypotheses were supported excepting for nonsignificant correlations between PS and C, and between L with C and D.

Locus of Control, Coping, and Spiritual Well-Being

Intercorrelations between measures of well-being were all significant at p < .01. The total score, SWB, correlates with RWB and EWB at .91 and .92 respectively, while RWB and EWB relate at .68.

It was proposed that locus of control and coping both contribute to well-being. It was hypothesized that (1) LOC in G and in PS would correlate positively with well-being, while (2) PO and L would relate negatively with it, and that (3) C, D, and S coping will relate positively to well-being, and (4) SD will correlate negatively with well-being. Results from multiple regression analysis are presented in Table 6. Beta weights were computed with the effects of the other LOC and coping measures partialled out. As predicted, significant [beta]s were found between G and EWB and SWB. Small significant positive beta weights were found between PS with RWB and SWB. However, no significant beta weight was found for PO and L, or for C and D. Significant positive [beta]s were found between S and all the well-being measures. As hypothesized, SD's beta weights were significantly negative with RWB and SWB.

Motivations, God Concepts, and Well-Being

It was proposed that motivations contribute to well-being beyond the effects of LOC and coping. It was hypothesized that I will relate positively to well-being while Es and Ep will correlate negatively with it. The relationship between motivations and well-being was assessed through multiple regression analysis. Results are shown at Table 7. Beta weights were computed with the effects of the other motivational styles, all the coping measures, and all the LOC measures partialled out. I was found to associate positively to RWB, and Q was found to relate negatively with it. No other significant relationship was found after partialling.

Finally, it was postulated that God concepts will contribute to well-being beyond the effects of all the other variables. It was hypothesized that the Christian God factor will correlate positively with well-being. The relationship between the two constructs was examined via regression analysis. Beta weights were calculated with effects of the other God concept variable, all the motivational measures, all the coping styles, and all the LOC measures removed. As hypothesized, the Christian God factor has significant positive relationships with RWB and SW B. However, Wrathfulness was found to relate positively with EWB and SWB. After partialling, no significant relationship was found between WF and RWB and between CG and EWB. The results are summarized in Table 8. (2)

DISCUSSION

Results support the relationships between the constructs as shown in Figure 1. The multiple correlation coefficients of overall tests for each well-being measure with all dependent variables were .85, .65, and .80 (See Table 8). These statistics are fairly close to the reliability coefficients for the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (Paloutzian & Ellison, 1982), .96, .86, and .93 respectively, suggesting that the model of relationships is a reasonable one.

The effects of God concepts on religious motivations replicated results of previous research (Schaefer & Gorsuch, 1992). Believers belonging to the Intrinsic orientation tended to see God as both wrathful (WF) and benevolent (the Christian God factor). These perceptions are consistent with Scripture in that God is both the Just and the Merciful, bringing desolation and redemption to Israel (Ez. 6:14; Ho. 6:1; Isa. 63:16).

The negative relationships between the Christian God factor and Es and Ep indicate that those who do not see God with the traditional benevolent imagery are more Extrinsic. Without a God to whom one can dedicate themselves, the only reasons for being religious maybe Extrinsic ones. No significant relationship was found between God concepts and Quest. Hence, no identified God concept either encourages or discourages Questing.

The influence of motivations on locus of control has not been studied widely. Some preliminary studies pointed to a positive correlation between Intrinsicness and an internal LOC (cited in Wulff, 1991) while those with an Extrinsic approach seemed to have a lesser sense of Personal control and a greater sense of Chance control (Pargament et al., 1988). Results from the current study partly agree with previous research. Intrinsicness is characterized by God control but not by Luck control. It is consistent that people who are motivated to live out their faith would not base their LOC on Luck. Extrinsic-Socials have their LOC in Powerful Others, which may explain their utilizing religion to get to know more people and to establish friendships. People with the Quest motivation may base their sense of control in Powerful Others and in Luck, being more easily influenced by authority figures or by wishful thinking.

Consistent with previous research, religious motivations were characterized by styles of coping (Pargament et al., 1988). This study supports previous research (Schaefer & Gorsuch, 1991) in that Intrinsic believers cope with the Collaborative, Deferring, and Surrender approaches, but not with the Self-Directing style. This is consistent with Christian beliefs that depending on the circumstances, one may work together with God, Defer to God (such as in the case of terminal illness), or Surrender to the Lord, but one would not act independently from God. Lending support to Pargament et al.'s research (1988), Extrinsic-Personals tended to cope by Deferring. This motivation is characterized by people who utilize religion for relief, peace, and protection. They may be in turmoil or distress, too tired to problem-solve with self action. Moreover, people with the Quest motivation were found to cope Collaboratively. Working together with God may fit the seeking orientation, as Quests look for explorations and discoveries.

Most of the zero order correlations between locus of control and coping in Table 5 support the hypotheses. As predicted, God control is related to Collaborative, Deferring, and Surrender coping, but not to the Self-Directing style. Christians who believe that God is in control may work with God, Defer, or Surrender to the Lord, but they would not act on their own accord. People with a sense of Personal control tend not to Defer, indicative of a desire to effect change themselves. Those with their LOC in Powerful Others or in Luck may cope in the Self-Directive style, but they tend not to Surrender to God since they do not perceive God as being in charge. People with their LOC in Powerful Others also tend not to Defer. It is noteworthy that PO and L are significantly related (r = .41, p < .01), indicating that people with their LOC in PO may also have a sense of Luck control. It appears that external locus of control leads persons toward self-dependence in problem-solving. This effect seems to be greater for those with a LOC in Luck.

Consistent with previous research, locus of control (Bjorck, Lee, & Cohen, 1997; Brown & Siegel, 1988; Propst, 1991; Schulz, 1980; Seligman, 1975) and coping (Schaefer & Gorsuch, 1991) related to well-being as predicted (see Table 6). Religious Well-Being is characterized by Surrender coping but not of Self-Directing coping. There is also a small but significant relationship between RWB and Personal control ([beta] = .12). Further research is needed to replicate this finding since the amount of variance accounted for is small. Existential Well-Being is related to God control and Surrender coping. Believing that God is in control may enable one to surrender to the Lord, contributing to meaning and purpose in life. Spiritual Well-Being is characterized by a sense of control in God and in personal control, and also by Surrender coping. Satisfaction in both the vertical (RWB) and the horizontal (EWB) realms is descriptive of people with an internal LOC in self and in God who surrender to the ways of the Lord. In contrary, self-reliance (i.e., Self-Directing coping) takes away from Religious and Spiritual Well-Beings.

In Table 6, the zero order correlations of the coping styles related significantly with the well-being variables. Once Surrender coping was partialled out, there was a substantial decrease in the beta weights. This is important to note in that Surrender was not a part of previous research (Pargament et al., 1988; Schaefer & Gorsuch, 1991). With the addition of this differentiating variable, greater clarity in research findings can be achieved.

Supporting previous findings relating Intrinsicness with greater well-being (Bergin, Masters, & Richards, 1987; Koenig, Kvala, & Ferrel, 1988; Schaefer & Gorsuch, 1991), I was found to be indicative of Religious Well-Being (see Table 7), but not so for Quest. Intrinsic believers seem to be content in their relationship with God, but people with the Quest motivation do not seem to be so. Contrary to prediction, no significant beta weight was found for the Extrinsic motivation. This is due to the lower correlations between E and the well-being variables as compared to the correlations between I and the Well-Being variables. Moreover, due to the correlations among the motivation variables, not much variance is left for E and WB when the effects of I and Q were partialled out.

Finally, both God concept variables were found to contribute to Spiritual Well-Being (see Table 8), corroborating results of previous research (Benson & Spilka, 1973; Schaefer & Gorsuch, 1991). People who see God as Wrathful experience a greater sense of Existential Well-Being. It is perhaps they find meaning and purpose in the concept of a God who is wrathful against wrongdoers, but note that the correlation was low and is inconsistent with other studies (Brokaw & Edwards, 1994). People who think of God in the traditional benevolent way (as described by the Christian God factor) have a greater sense of Religious Well-Being, finding satisfaction in their personal relationship with God.

Implications for Christian Educators and Counselors

Due to the theological premise and the participant sample of this study, results may not be generalizable beyond mainline conservative Christians. Christian educators and counselors may note the significance of God concepts and motivations in the overall research model, pointing to the importance of knowing God and of forming a personal relationship with God.

The relationships between LOC and coping with well-being also have important implications for Christian counselors. Since LOC in God contribute to greater well-being, counselors may encourage its development by using Scripture (e.g., Is. 12:2; 2 Ti. 1:7) for education and for counseling. Faith may also be fostered by placing clients in Christian groups where personal testimonies can be heard.

Scripture can be used to formulate coping strategies. Behavior is a powerful tool for modifying false assumptions (Craigie & Tan, 1989). Self-Directing coping may be reshaped into other coping styles that contribute to greater well-being. Crabb (1987) argued that nonorganic emotional problems may be traced to a human tendency to live independently of God. Helping Christians to cope Collaboratively, by Deferring, or by Surrendering would move them closer to living dependently on God and to greater well-being.

In conclusion, this study incorporated the multivariate domains of religiousness (Gorsuch, 1984; Shaefer and Gorsuch, 1991) and examined the roles of associated variables (Hathaway & Pargament, 1990) within a theological framework. God concepts and motivations were found to be significant predictors of the relationships between the constructs as depicted in Figure 1, indicating that a reasonable hypothesis is that relationship with God forms the basis of other aspects in a believer's life. Locus of control and coping may contribute to or take away from well-being. The tendency for self-reliance, to act independently from God, is related to a lesser sense of well-being as humans were created to live dependently on God.
APPENDIX God Concept Scale Items and Factor Loadings (Correlations) with
the Christian God Factor

Scale Item Factor loading

Christian God factor
 God is benevolent (merciful, loving, and forgiving). .77
 God is all powerful, all present, and all knowing. (a) .83
 God is guiding (gentle, helpful, and supporting). .82
 God is false (unfaithful and not important). -.53
 God is stable (fatherly and firm). .72
 God is deistic (impersonal, inaccessible, and mythical). -.74
 God is worthless (weak and cold). -.75
 God is powerful (not feeble). .55
 God is condemning (avenging, critical, and cruel). -.64
 God is caring (charitable and considerate). .68

Note. (a) This scale item represents the Omni concept.

Table 1 Means and Standard Deviations for God Concepts (N = 151)

Scale M SD

God Concepts
 Wrathfulness 3.12 1.46
 Christian God factor
 Benevolent 4.79 0.53
 Omni 4.75 0.62
 Guiding 4.68 0.72
 False 1.28 0.90
 Stable 4.64 0.79
 Deistic 1.25 0.65
 Worthless 1.19 0.70
 Powerful 4.70 0.76
 Condemning 1.58 0.99
 Caring 4.70 0.72

Table 2 Zero Order Correlations and Beta Weights of God Concept Measures
with Motivational Styles

 Motivations
 Intrinsic Extrinsic-Social
 r [beta] r [beta]

God Concept
 [R.sup.a] .40** .21*
 Wrathfulness .16 .18* -.08 -.09
 Christian God .35** .36** -.19* -.20**

 Motivations
 Extrinsic-Personal Quest
 r [beta] r [beta]

God Concept
 [R.sup.a] .18 .11
 Wrathfulness -.04 -.05 .06 .05
 Christian God -.17* -.17* -.10 -.09

Note. (a) R is the multiple correlation coefficient of overall tests for
each motivational style.
*p < .05. **p < .01.

Table 3 Zero Order Correlations and Beta Weights of Motivational Styles
with Locus of Control Measures

 Locus of Control
 God Personal
 r [beta] r [beta]

Motivations
 [R.sup.a] .44** .15
 Intrinsic .42** .36** .02 .07
 Extrinsic-Social -.23** -.09 .13 .13
 Extrinsic-Personal -.15 .03 .04 .02
 Quest -.05 .10 .03 .00

 Locus of Control
 Powerful Others Luck
 r [beta] r [beta]

Motivations
 [R.sup.a] .41** .60**
 Intrinsic -.26** -.11 -.55** -.38**
 Extrinsic-Social .32** .18* .34** -.06
 Extrinsic-Personal .15 -.05 .35** .08
 Quest .32** .20** .37** .16*

Note. (a) R is the multiple correlation coefficients of overall tests
for each locus of control measure.
*p < .05. **p < .01.

Table 4 Zero Order Correlations and Beta Weights of Motivational Styles
with Coping Measure

 Coping
 Collaborative Self-Directing
 r [beta] r [beta]

Motivations
 [R.sup.a] .39** .61**
 Intrinsic .27** .34** -.61** -.51**
 Extrinsic-Social -.03 -.02 .28** .03
 Extrinsic-Personal .08 .16 .27** .01
 Quest .14 .19** .21** .01

 Coping
 Deferring Surrender
 r [beta] r [beta]

Motivations
 [R.sup.a] .29** .62**
 Intrinsic .19* .19* .62** .50**
 Extrinsic-Social -.10 -.02 -.29** .03
 Extrinsic-Personal .06 .18* -.30** -.05
 Quest -.16* -.14 -.19* .02

Note. (a) R is the multiple correlation coefficients of overall tests
for each coping style.
*p < .05. **p < .01.

Table 5 Zero Order Correlations of Locus of Control Measures with Coping
Styles

 Coping
 Collaborative Self-Directing Deferring Surrender

Locus of Control
 God .26** -.33** .27** .51**
 Personal .01 .07 -.22** -.05
 Powerful Others .03 .28** -.19* -.24**
 Luck -.12 .54** -.12 -.50**

*p < .05. **p < .01.

Table 6 Zero Order Correlations and Beta Weights of Locus of Control and
Coping Styles with Well-Being Measures

 Well-Being
 Religious Existential Spiritual
 r [beta] r [beta] r [beta]

[R.sup.a] .74** .59** .72**
Locus of Control
 God .43** .06 .39** .15* .45** .12*
 Personal .09 .12* .08 .11 .09 .12*
 Powerful Others -.15 .01 -.19* -.10 -.19* -.05
 Luck -.42** -.02 -.30** .10 -.39** .04
Coping
 Collaborative .43** .09 .28** .01 .39** .05
 Self-Directing -.57** -.14* -.43** -.10 -.54** -.13*
 Deferring .25** .01 -.19* -.02 .24** -.01
 Surrender .70** .28** .55** .25** .68** .29**

Note. (a) R is the multiple correlation coefficient of overall tests for
each well-being measure.
*p < .05. **p < .01.

Table 7 Zero Order Correlations and Beta Weights of Motivational Styles
with Well-Being Measures
 Well-Being
 Religious Existential Spiritual
 r [beta] r [beta] r [beta]

Motivations
 [R.sup.a] .78** .62** .75**
 Intrinsic .62** .14** .44** .03 .57** .09
 Extrinsic-Social -.28** .00 -.28** -.05 -.31** -.03
 Extrinsic-Personal -.33** -.08 -.28** -.10 -.33** -.10
 Quest -.25** -.11* -.18* -.05 -.24** -.08

Note. (a) R is the multiple correlation coefficients of overall tests
for each well-being measure.
*p < .05. **p < .01.

Table 8 Zero Order Correlations and Beta Weights of God Concepts with
Well-Being Measures

 Well-Being
 Religious Existential Spiritual
 r [beta] r [beta] r [beta]

God Concepts
R (a) .85** .65** .80**
Wrathfulness .09 .05 .21** .17** .17* .12*
Christian God Factor .67** .36** .39** .13 .57** .26**

Note. (a) R is the multiple correlation coefficients of overall tests
for each well-being measure and includes all partialled variables.
*p < .05. **p < .01.


(2) After controlling for the effects of LOC and coping, shrunken squared multiple correlations between all the motivation variables and well-being were .56, .32, and .52 for RWB, EWB, and SWB respectively. Thus, the relationships between the two constructs, controlling for LOC and coping, accounted for about a third to a half of all the variance. Moreover, the shrunken [R.sup.2] between the two God concept factors and well-being were .71, .36, and .59 for RWB, EWB, and SWB respectively. Thus, God concepts predicted about a third to a seventh of the total variance of all the scales.

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ANA WONG-MCDONALD AND RICHARD L. GORSUCH

Graduate School of Psychology

Fuller Theological Seminary

AUTHORS

WONG-MCDONALD, ANA. Address: Hollywood Mental Health Center, 1224 N. Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90038-1612. Title: Clinical Psychologist, Director of Psychosocial Rehabilitation. Degrees: MA, Theology; PhD, Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary. Specializations: Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Explicit Christian Psychotherapy, Psychology of Religion.

GORSUCH, RICHARD L. Address: Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary, 180 N. Oakland Ave., Pasadena, CA, 91101. Title: Professor of Psychology. Degrees: MA, PhD, University of Illinois; MDiv, Vanderbilt University. Specializations: Psychology of Religion, Social Psychology, Factor Analysis, Personality, Substance Abuse.

This paper was presented at the Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS) West Conference on June 27, 1998 in La Mirada, California. A previous factor analytic study of the same data set was published as an incremental validity study of a new scale (Wong-McDonald & Gorsuch, 2000). Correspondence concerning this article may be sent to Ana Wong-McDonald, PhD, Hollywood Mental Health Center, 1224 N. Vine St., Los Angeles, CA 90038. Email: awongmcd@adelphia.net
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