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Relationship of spirituality to work and family roles and life satisfaction among gifted adults.

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of spirituality to work and family roles and life satisfaction among gifted adults. Satisfaction with work and family roles was examined in combination with spiritual well-being in order to study the contribution each makes to variance in life satisfaction. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed in order to gain a greater depth of understanding of these complex issues. Results from multiple regression analyses indicated that existential well-being and marital satisfaction contributed significantly to life satisfaction. In response to open-ended questions, participants articulated many ways in which their spirituality impacted their work, marriage, parenting, and life satisfaction. Results are discussed in relation to the literature. Implications for mental health counseling and future research are provided.

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Mental health has been linked to spirituality in a number of theoretical writings and empirical studies. In general, spiritual people report more happiness and life satisfaction than do nonspiritual people (Cohen, 2002). Research indicates that one's specific religious affiliation does not matter in terms of the relationship to happiness, as long as one has a sense of spiritual connection (Cohen). Mental health counselors must engage in caring for the whole person, including assessing meaning and spirituality in the lives of their clients (Ortiz & Langer, 2002), and according to Tisdale (2003), counselors must establish competency in spiritual issues to effectively address these issues in counseling.

AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH

In the present study, we explored the relationship of spirituality to work and family roles and life satisfaction among gifted adults. We also looked at the contribution of spiritual well-being and satisfaction with work and family roles to overall life satisfaction. Hansen's (1997; 2001) Integrative Life Planning (ILP) approach provides a framework for helping individuals understand and integrate various aspects of their lives, including work, family, and spirituality, in order to achieve a sense of wholeness and life satisfaction. Hansen developed the model to assist mental health professionals in helping clients adapt to dramatically changing work, family, and societal paradigms. It is a holistic approach to helping clients find meaning and purpose in their lives and make plans for the future. The ILP approach is organized into six "critical life tasks" (p. 18). These tasks are: "finding work that needs doing in changing global contexts," "weaving our lives into a meaningful whole," "connecting family and work," "valuing pluralism and inclusively," "exploring spirituality and life purpose," and "managing personal transitions and organizational change" (p. 19-21). Hansen's definition of spirituality includes both religious and existential factors. Both of these components were examined in the present study.

DEFINING SPIRITUALITY

Consistent with Hansen's definition, Moberg and Brusek (1978) postulated that spiritual well-being comprises two dimensions. The first dimension is one's relationship with a higher power within a system of religious beliefs. The second dimension is one's sense of meaning and purpose in life, apart from any specific religious framework. Paloutzian and Ellison (1982) developed a scale to measure spiritual well-being, based on Moberg and Brusek's conceptualization. They labeled the first dimension Religious Well-Being and the second dimension Existential Well-Being. In the current study, the unique contributions of each dimension of spiritual well-being were considered in relation to life roles.

MENTAL HEALTH AND SPIRITUALITY AMONG GIFTED ADULTS

Participants in this study are part of a longitudinal study of the career and life development of gifted individuals. They were recruited in 1988, during their senior year of high school, and have been surveyed annually since then. Most gifted research focuses on children and adolescents prior to high school graduation (Lewis, Kitano, & Lynch, 1992), and little is known about the life development and well-being of gifted individuals once they reach adulthood (Jacobsen, 1999). In a meta-analysis of studies on the impact of giftedness on mental health, Neihart (1999) found that the research literature shows that gifted children, adolescents, and adults have average or better than average adjustment in comparison to the general population. However, Tolan (1994) cautioned that some common traits of the gifted may have negative consequences for gifted adults. For example, perfectionism may result in problems in relationships with partners and coworkers, and heightened empathy may lead to depression if gifted individuals ruminate over the problems of the world.

Spirituality is a potentially important factor in well-being among gifted adults (Noble, 2000). It is common for gifted individuals to explore spiritual and existential issues from an early age due to their intellectual ability and curiosity (Chauvin, 2000). Chauvin suggested that an existential approach to counseling might be useful for gifted adults who may seek counseling to address issues such as the meaning of their lives, the existence of a higher power, freedom, responsibility, and the inevitability of death. In the present study, we sought to increase the understanding of the relationship of spirituality to life satisfaction among gifted adults.

Although we have limited knowledge about the relationship of spirituality to life satisfaction among gifted adults, there have been studies that have demonstrated a link between spirituality and quality of life or mental health issues. For example, Lee and Waters (2003) found that spiritual well-being can act as a buffer to traumatic stress associated with cumulative or multiple exposures to traumatic stressors. Likewise, Fry (2001) found that existential factors (e.g., personal meaning, optimism) were important predictors of psychological well-being among older adults following spousal loss. In a study of recovering alcoholics, a positive relationship was found between the level of spirituality and the level of contentment with life and the strength of this relationship was independent of the amount of time the participants had been in Alcoholics Anonymous (Corrington, 1989). Similarly, Fabricatore, Handal, and Fenzel (2000) found that personal spirituality contributed significantly to the prediction of subjective well-being among a sample of undergraduate college students. Finally, Hill and Pargament (2003) noted that attachment theorists have conceptualized an individual's connection to a higher power as an attachment relationship, and that, consistent with attachment theory, those people who reported a close connection to their higher power also reported less depression and loneliness, higher self-esteem, greater maturity in relationships, and better coping skills when faced with stressful situations.

The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship of spirituality to work and family roles and life satisfaction among a sample of gifted adults, and also to study the relative contributions of spirituality, work satisfaction, and family satisfaction to overall life satisfaction. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed in order to gain a greater depth of understanding of these complex issues.

METHOD

Participants and Procedures

Participants were 99 adults (40 men and 59 women) between the ages of 33 and 35. All participants were college graduates. The majority of participants were Caucasian (94%), 2.5% were Asian American, 1.5% were African American, 1.3% were Native American, and .7% were Latino/Latina. Participants indicated their religious affiliations as follows: 41% said they were Christians but did not specify a particular denomination, 18% were Catholics, 16% were Lutherans, 11% said they were spiritual but did not indicate a form of religion, 5% were United Methodists, 4% were agnostics, and 4% were atheists. Participants were part of an ongoing longitudinal study of the career and life development of academically gifted and talented individuals. The study began in 1988, the year the participants graduated from high school. Participants in the study were identified as gifted by their school counselors (e.g., valedictorians, salutatorians, and National Merit Scholars). The present study was conducted as an annual follow-up survey. Participants were mailed surveys and asked to return completed surveys in the stamped, addressed envelopes provided. The present study has ongoing approval from the Institutional Review Board at the researchers' university.

Instruments

Life satisfaction. This variable was assessed using the 5-item, Likert-type, Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS; Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985). Factor analysis of the SWLS revealed a single factor model accounting for 66% of the variance suggesting that the SWLS measures a single dimension of life satisfaction (Diener et al., 1985). The factor loadings for the five scale items were .84, .77, .83, .72, and .61. The item to total correlations for the five items were .75, .77, .75, .67, and .57. Two-month test-retest reliability for the SWLS was .82 (Diener et al.). In this study, Cronbach's alpha was .89. Concurrent validity was supported by moderate correlations between the SWLS and 11 other measures of subjective well-being. Content validity was evidenced by the correlation of the SWLS between interviewer estimates of life satisfaction (r = .42). Discriminant validity was demonstrated by a nonsignificant correlation (r = .02, p> .01) between the SWLS and the Marlowe-Crowne social desirability scale (Diener et al., 1985). Construct validity was also demonstrated through a strong negative correlation (r = -.72, p < .01) between the SWLS and the Beck Depression Inventory, a measure of clinical distress (Pavot & Diener, 1993).

Spiritual well-being. The Spiritual WellBeing Scale (SWB; Paloutzian & Ellison, 1982) was used to measure spiritual well-being. This scale consists of two subscales: Existential Well-Being (EWB) and Religious Well-Being (RWB). Each subscale has 10 items and the correlation between the two subscales was reported to be r = .32. p < .01. Participants responded to items on a Likert-type scale, with responses ranging from Strongly Disagree (1) to Strongly Agree (5). Test-retest reliability coefficients were .93 for the SWB, .96 for the RWB, and .86 for the EWB. Alpha coefficients were .78 for the EWB subscale and .87 for the RWB subscale. Construct validity was demonstrated through a strong correlation with the Spirituality Index of WellBeing (r = .62, p < .001) (Daaleman & Frey, 2004). Cronbach's alpha in the present study was .80.

Marital satisfaction. The scale used to measure marital satisfaction was the 3-item Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale (Schumm et al., 1986). Participants responded using a 7-point, Likert-type response format, ranging from Extremely Dissatisfied (1) to Extremely Satisfied (7). Factorial validity for the KMSS was demonstrated in a study by Canfield, Schumm, Swihart, and Eggerichs (1990). Mitchell, Newell, and Schumm (1983) reported a high level of internal consistency reliability with a Cronbach's alpha of .96. The authors also reported a ten week test-retest reliability estimate of .71. Concurrent validity was demonstrated by Herman (1991) where the KMSS was significantly correlated with the Marital Satisfaction Questionnaire (r = .80, p < .01) and with the Quality of Marriage Index (r = .91, p < .01). In a study of couples from eight different states (Chang, Schumm, Coulson, Bollman, & Jurich, 1994), the coefficient alpha for the scale was .95 and discriminant validity was shown through comparison with the Kansas Parental Satisfaction Scale. In the present study, Cronbach's alpha was .97.

Parental satisfaction. The 3-item Kansas Parental Satisfaction Scale (KPSS; James et al., 1985) was administered to measure parental satisfaction. Participants responded using a 7-point, Likert-type response format, ranging from Extremely Dissatisfied (1) to Extremely Satisfied (7). James and colleagues (1985) reported adequate internal consistency reliability (coefficient alpha = .84) for the scale. Chang and colleagues (1994) reported a coefficient alpha of .85 for this scale and demonstrated discriminant validity through comparison with the KMSS. Rho and Schumm (1989) provided support for the factorial validity of the KPSS. The authors administered both the KPSS and the KMSS to a sample of interracial couples and conducted a factor analysis of all the items administered from both scales. They determined that each scale comprised a distinct factors measuring two distinct constructs. Cronbach's alpha was .77 in the present study.

Work satisfaction. Work satisfaction was measured using the four-item personal growth subscale combined with the one-item global measure of work satisfaction from the Multidimensional Job Satisfaction Scale (MJSS) (Shouksmith, Pajo, & Jepsen, 1990). Shouksmith and colleagues (1990) found that the personal growth subscale was most highly correlated with global job satisfaction (r = .74, p < .01). The four items in the personal growth scale are as follows: "on the whole, your job: (1) allows you to reach your full potential, (2) is a secure one, (3) is a challenging and exciting job, (4) makes the most of your particular abilities and skills." The 1-item global measure of job satisfaction consisted of the statement: "On the whole this job, taken all around and considering all its aspects, is a very good one." Participants rated items on a 5-point, Likert-type scale (1=strongly disagree, 5=strongly agree). Higher scores indicated higher levels of work satisfaction. Internal consistency reliability for the personal growth subscale combined with the global job satisfaction item was .87 in the present study.

Open-ended questions. First, participants were asked to describe their personal spiritual beliefs and practices. Next, participants were asked to describe how their spiritual beliefs impacted each of the following areas: career development, marriage or significant romantic relationships, relationships with their children, and overall life satisfaction. Participants responded to these questions in a narrative format.

RESULTS

Quantitative Analyses

Table 1 presents the means, standard deviations and correlations for the variables in this study. A multiple regression analysis was conducted to assess the relationship of the independent variables: existential wellbeing, religious well-being, work satisfaction, marital satisfaction and parental satisfaction to the dependent variable of life satisfaction. The combined contribution of the variables to the variance in life satisfaction was [R.sup.2] = .52 (F = 10.10, p < .01). The semi-partial correlations were significant for existential well-being (.42, p< .01) and marital satisfaction (.42, p < .01). The semi-partial correlations for spiritual well-being, work satisfaction, and parenting satisfaction were not significant. Thus, existential well-being and marital satisfaction contributed significantly to the variance in life satisfaction, whereas religious well-being, work satisfaction, and parental satisfaction did not.

Qualitative Analysis

A research team consisting of a counseling psychologist, three doctoral students, and one master's student analyzed responses to open-ended questions using Miles and Huberman's (1994) qualitative method of organizing data into chunks. The first step of this method is to discuss the purpose of the analysis, which in this case was to identify major themes among responses to questions about the relationship of spiritual well-being to career, marriage or romantic relationships, parenting, and life satisfaction. The next step is for at least two researchers to independently generate categories and then come together to reach consensus. In this study, five researchers generated categories of responses independently and then convened to determine specific categories based on consensus among members. The last step is assignment of data to categories. The researchers assigned responses to categories and then came together to determine consensus of assignment to categories.

First, participants described their personal spiritual beliefs (see Table 2 for categories of responses and percentages of responses per category). Next, participants discussed the impact of their spiritual beliefs on their career development, marriage or romantic relationships, and parenting relationship with their children (see Table 3 for summary of response categories). Finally, participants described the impact of their spiritual beliefs on their overall life satisfaction (see Table 4 for results). Major findings from the open-ended questions are presented in the Discussion section.

DISCUSSION

Spirituality and Life Satisfaction among Gifted Adults

Quantitative findings in the present study indicated that existential well-being and marital satisfaction contributed positively to life satisfaction. This is consistent with Hansen's theory (1997; 2001) and is also consistent with past research. For example, Orbuch, House, Mero and Webster (1996) similarly demonstrated a connection between marital satisfaction and life satisfaction. Furthermore, it makes sense that existential well-being would be related to life satisfaction, given that existential issues have been shown to be important to many gifted individuals (Chauvin, 2000), and that some participants discussed how spirituality gave them a sense of life's meaning when asked open-ended questions in the qualitative portion of this study. Jewkes and Baruss (2000) suggested that gifted individuals may possess personality traits such as a need for understanding and global transcendentalism that encourage investigation of spiritual matters. Based on their findings, they suggested that individuals who are more logical and more inquiring are more likely to seek out existentialist spiritual connections. Tuck, McCain, and Elswick (2001), also using the Spiritual Well-Being Scale, found that existential well-being was positively related to quality of life for individuals living with HIV. Finally, Hill and Pargament (2003) asserted that, for many, spirituality provides a sense of direction and meaning in life.

Religious well-being was not shown to be a significant contributor to life satisfaction in the quantitative analysis of this study. This was somewhat surprising given that many participants indicated that they were active in their religious faith and many indicated a strong commitment to a particular religious denomination (see Table 2). However, the finding is consistent with the findings reported by Lewis, Joseph, and Noble (1996), who surveyed 150 undergraduate students regarding the relationship between attitudes toward Christianity, satisfaction with life and frequency of church attendance. Lewis and colleagues found no relationships among the variables and concluded that those who expressed a positive attitude toward Christianity and attended church were not necessarily more satisfied with life.

When responding in a narrative format regarding how spiritual beliefs impacted life satisfaction, participants' most common responses were that their spiritual beliefs contributed positively to life satisfaction, that spiritual beliefs gave them a sense of hope, strength, and peace, and that these beliefs helped them cope with difficult life events or hardships. These findings are consistent with other studies that have linked spirituality with overall life satisfaction, optimism, and coping with major stressors such as traumatic life events (Corrington, 1989; Fabricatore et al., 2000; Fry, 2001; Lee & Waters, 2003). Further, McCullough, Enders, Brion and Jain (2005) found that religious upbringing, parenting, marriage, and agreeableness significantly influenced how intellectually gifted children developed in adulthood. Among a group of gifted adolescents who indicated experiencing a depressive state, Jackson (1998) found that access to meaningful spiritual exchanges was related to overall well-being.

Spirituality and Career Development

When participants were asked about the impact of their spiritual beliefs on their career development, many indicated that their spiritual beliefs had little or no impact on their career development. In a review of literature linking the role of religious beliefs to career development, Fox (2003) noted that religious beliefs have only recently begun to play a role for many individuals and this may help account for the current results. The next most common responses were that spiritual beliefs affected conduct at work in terms of exhibiting moral and ethical behavior in the workplace, and that spiritual beliefs influenced career choice (a specific component of career development). These results were similar to those reported by Thomas (1980), who found that many adults seeking career changes attributed their motivation to a desire to find jobs that fit their personal values and were meaningful to them. Additionally, Fox (2003) noted that churches have begun to directly assist individuals in career decision-making, focusing primarily on vocational interests as they relate to church involvement.

Spirituality and Marriage

The most frequent description by participants regarding the impact of spirituality on their marital or significant romantic relationships was that shared religious beliefs between partners strengthened their bond. This is consistent with past research by Chinitz and Brown (2001) which demonstrated that as religious homogamy increases, marital stability increases and marital conflict decreases. Additionally, Ortega, Whitt, and Williams (1988) found that greater disparity in religious beliefs within the married couple resulted in greater marital unhappiness. Other studies have shown that participating in religious experiences together can enhance marital stability (Call & Heaton, 1997) and help to create an emotional bond that enhances marital satisfaction (Robinson, 1994). On the other hand, Wilkinson and Tanner (1980) argued that it is the experience of an activity as a couple that enhances marital satisfaction and not the type of activity that necessarily matters. This provides a potential reason for why the second most common response in this study was that spiritual beliefs did not impact participants' marriage or relationships. The third most common response was that participants' faith guides their behavior in marriage and relationships (e.g., they are more likely to exhibit forgiveness and to compromise). Past research has demonstrated that individuals who participated in religiously oriented small groups (e.g., Bible study, prayer groups) believed that the groups helped them to forgive others and to heal relationships (Wuthnow, 2000). Buss (2002) noted that following religious injunctions, such as not engaging in sexual infidelity, may lead to greater marital stability.

Spirituality and Parenting

When participants were asked about the impact of their spirituality on their role as a parent, the most common responses were that participants wanted to raise their children in their religious faith, that participants' religious beliefs provided guidance in parental decisions and values, and that participants bonded with their children through spiritual activities and practices (Mathai & North, 2003). Although others have looked at relationships between religious beliefs and bonding of parents and children (Rohner, Khaleque, & Cournoyer, 2004), few have considered how parents utilize their spiritual beliefs as supplemental parenting guides.

Limitations of the Study

The lack of diversity in the current sample limits the generalizability of the research findings. While these findings may be salient for Caucasian, gifted individuals who lived in the Midwest as adolescents, the findings might not be generalizable to gifted individuals from other cultures or those who were raised in other areas of the United States. Additionally, most participants indicated they were from a Christian-related faith base (80% Christian, Catholic, Lutheran or United Methodist), which likely influenced how participants defined spirituality and thus limited the generalizability of the findings.

Directions for Future Research

Future research is needed to examine the relationship of spirituality to work and family roles and life satisfaction with other samples of individuals, including persons of color, persons from other geographic locations, and persons who are not considered to be academically or intellectually gifted. It would also be interesting to learn about how these factors are related for individuals from non-Christian religious backgrounds and faiths.

Implications for Mental Health Counselors

Spirituality can have a significant impact on life roles (e.g., work, family) and life satisfaction. Mental health counselors may wish to learn about these aspects of their clients' lives from the beginning of counseling. The current study provides counselors with an in-depth understanding of the potential impact that spirituality has on the life roles of individuals. Somlai and Heckman (2000) encourage counselors to take a multi-disciplinary mental health approach and to incorporate assessment of spiritual practices as a part of routine intakes with clients. Counselors can employ many different types of interventions to incorporate spirituality and faith into the counseling process. One technique is to have clients journal about their presenting concerns in the context of their spiritual beliefs. It is important for counselors not to try to replace their clients' spiritual or religious leader, but to encourage the client to participate in his or her chosen spiritual and religious rituals (Ortiz & Langer, 2002). For example, the mental health counselor could help the client generate a list of support or study groups that adhere to the client's particular theology and encourage the client to attend the gatherings. However, counselors must be cautious in working with spiritual issues and cognizant of competence boundaries.

Counselors must have competency to work with spiritual issues before employing interventions of this nature with clients. In addition to seeking specific training in this area, such as practicum or supervision experiences, mental health counselors could increase their competence about clients' diverse spiritual and religious beliefs and values by learning about them and being exposed to a variety of spiritual settings (Myers & Williard, 2003). Mental health counselors could also increase their competence in this area by subscribing to mental health journals that specifically address spiritual or theological issues, attending conferences, forming collaborative networks with pastoral counselors or spiritual directors, and through continuing education (Tisdale, 2003).

In the present study, spiritual well-being (specifically the existential well-being component) was positively related to life satisfaction. Based on these results, it is important for mental health counselors to work with clients to find ways to stimulate personal meaning or purpose for life. Counselors should be aware of the potential protective effects that can be provided by spirituality to buffer the effects of traumatic stress, especially for individuals for whom spirituality is already important (Lee & Waters, 2003). If clients are not religious, alternate strategies that rely on personal growth and spirituality may be appropriate (Fry, 2001).

Chauvin (2000) suggested an existential approach to counseling gifted individuals, given the observation that gifted individuals often contemplate spiritual and existential issues. Chauvin reviewed literature and concluded that gifted individuals have a heightened capacity and desire for self-awareness, and may seek counseling to help them clarify their beliefs and values. According to this author, an important goal for counseling with gifted adults is to help them develop their beliefs about spirituality and assist them in identifying sources of meaning in their lives. Jacobsen (1999) also provided some recommendations for counseling with gifted individuals, suggesting that it may be helpful to consider both strengths and struggles that are common to many gifted individuals. Gifted adults bring many strengths to counseling, including a goal-orientation, self-motivation, insight, sensitivity, creativity, and perseverance. In addition, gifted adults may struggle with existential depression, self-criticism, perfectionism,

feelings of isolation, and feelings of being misunderstood (Jacobsen, 1999). Given these factors, it is essential for mental health counselors to convey accurate empathy and unconditional positive regard when working with this population.

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Correspondence may be addressed to: Kristin M. Perrone, Ph.D., Department of Counseling Psychology, Teachers College 622, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306. E-mail: kperrone@bsu.edu. L. Kay Webb, Stephen L. Wright, Z. Vance Jackson, and Tracy M. Ksiazak are doctoral students in counseling psychology at Ball State University.
Table 1
Means, Standard Deviations, and Correlations between Measures

 Life Religious Existential Job
 Satisfaction Well-Being Well-Being Satisfaction

 M SD M SD M SD M SD
 20.23 3.33 34.68 7.69 33.82 2.86 20.07 3.45

Religious
Well-Being .07

Existential
Well-Being .66 ** .15

Job
Satisfaction .26 * -.09 .42 **

Marital
Satisfaction .44 ** .10 .18 .09

Parental
Satisfaction .28 * -.16 .14 .39 **

 Marital Parental
 Satisfaction Satisfaction

 M SD M SD
 18.20 2.70 17.59 1.66

Religious
Well-Being

Existential
Well-Being

Job
Satisfaction

Marital
Satisfaction

Parental
Satisfaction .09

** Correlations significant at the .01 level

* Correlations significant at the .05 level

Table 2
Categories of Participants' Description of Their Personal Religious and
Spiritual Beliefs

Regular church attendance and active participation 25%
 in church activities
Strong commitment to one religious denomination 20%
Agnostic or open to a variety of spiritual belief 12%
 systems
Self-practicing with occasional attendance at 11%
 religious services
Spirituality is valued over religiosity 8%
Religious faith is important to identity 7%
Guided by a combination of religious and spiritual 6%
 values and morals
Raised with religion but not currently practicing 6%
Spirituality gives a sense of meaning and purpose 3%
 to life
Atheist 2%

Table 3
Response Categories for the Impact of Spirituality on Career
Development, Marriage or Romantic Relationship, and Parenting

Career Development:

Spiritual beliefs have had little or no impact on career 38%
 development
Spiritual beliefs influence workplace behavior (e.g., 15%
 honesty, morality, ethics)
Spiritual beliefs guided career choice 10%
Spiritual beliefs help participants cope with stress at 8%
 work
Spiritual beliefs impact work values 7%
Spiritual beliefs guided participants to put other life 6%
 roles before career
Religion or spirituality has a positive impact on career 6%
 development overall
Participants strive to keep work separate from religion/ 5%
 spirituality
Participants chose a career that allows flexibility to 3%
 pursue religious activities
Participants view their career as a blessing or gift 2%
 from their higher power
 100%

Marriage or Significant Romantic Relationship:

Shared religious beliefs have strengthened the bond 19%
 between spouses/partners
Spiritual beliefs has had little or no impact on 14%
 marriage or romantic relationships
Religious faith guides participant's behavior in 12%
 marriage/romantic relationships
Religious beliefs influenced choice of spouse or partner 10%
Spouse or partner is believed to be a blessing or gift 9%
 from a higher power
Spiritual beliefs impact values and attitudes toward 8%
 marriage
Differences in religious beliefs between partners causes 8%
 strain or conflict
Spouses or partners are accepting of each others' 7%
 differences in beliefs
Spirituality had a general positive impact on marriage/ 7%
 romantic relationships
Spiritual beliefs provide the foundation for the 6%
 relationship
 100%

Parents' Relationship with their Children

Participants wish to raise their children in their 19%
 religious faith
Spiritual beliefs provide guidance in parental values 16%
 and decisions
Participants bond with their children through spiritual 13%
 activities and practices
Participants' spiritual beliefs have little or no impact 13%
 on parenting
Spiritual beliefs help participants to be better parents 9%
Participants see their children as a gift from a higher 9%
 power
Spiritual beliefs have a general positive influence on 8%
 participants' parenting
Having children provided the motivation for participants
 to become more involved in spiritual activities 6%
Participants want to be spiritual role models for their 5%
 children
Members of participants' religious community provide
 support and assistance with parenting responsibilities 2%

 100%

Table 4
Response Categories for the Impact of Spirituality on Life Satisfaction

Spiritual beliefs contribute positively to life satisfaction 19%
Spiritual beliefs give participants a sense of hope, strength, 17%
 and peace
Spiritual beliefs help participants cope with various life 14%
 events or hardships 15% Spirituality has little or no impact
 on life satisfaction
Having a personal relationship with a higher power increases 9%
 life satisfaction
Spirituality gives participants a sense of purpose or 7%
 direction in life
Involvement in a spiritual community has improved participants' 6%
 interpersonal relationships, which has increased life
 satisfaction
Congruence of participants' behavior with their spiritual 6%
 beliefs correlate positively with life satisfaction
Participants feel like something is missing when they are not 4%
 actively practicing their religious faith
Participants' dissatisfaction with religion or spirituality 3%
 has decreased life satisfaction
COPYRIGHT 2006 American Mental Health Counselors Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:RESEARCH
Author:Ksiazak, Tracy M.
Publication:Journal of Mental Health Counseling
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2006
Words:6117
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