The relationship between spirituality, assessed through self-transcendent goal strivings, and positive psychological attributes

Gary K. Leak, Kristina M. De Neve, Adam J. Greteman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Emmons (1999) demonstrated that spiritual motivations can be assessed through personal goal strivings that are oriented toward the transcendent. This study used a nomothetic approach to the measurement of goal strivings and attempted to link spiritual strivings to many of the attributes (a) championed by the positive psychology movement (e.g., Seligman, 2002) and (b) consistent with classic theories of healthy personality development and functioning (e.g., Erikson, 1968; Maslow, 1971; Ryan & Deci, 2000, 2001; Schawrtz, 1992). Using a sample of college students, we found that spiritual, self-transcendent strivings were related as predicted with positive emotions (e.g., vitality and zest, satisfaction with life), psychological health (achieved identity, selfactualization tendencies), sense of meaning and purpose (self-actualization), capacity for intimate and selfless interpersonal relationships (secure attachments, intimacy, and generativity), other-oriented vs. self-oriented values (benevolence and universalism vs. power and hedonism), and healthy, intrinsic vs. egocentric motivations (intimacy vs. power). With only a few exceptions this research demonstrated that (a) goal strivings can be successfully assessed through a nomothetic strategy and (b) spirituality, approached via self-transcendent goal strivings, is related to a variety of positive characteristics consistent with positive psychology theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResearch in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 18
EditorsRalph L. Piedmont, Ralph L. Piedmont
PublisherEntomological Society of Canada
Pages263-279
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789004158511
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

Publication series

NameResearch in the Social Scientific Study of Religion
Volume18
ISSN (Print)1046-8064

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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    Leak, G. K., De Neve, K. M., & Greteman, A. J. (2007). The relationship between spirituality, assessed through self-transcendent goal strivings, and positive psychological attributes. In R. L. Piedmont, & R. L. Piedmont (Eds.), Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 18 (pp. 263-279). (Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion; Vol. 18). Entomological Society of Canada. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004158511.i-301.102