Journal of psychology and theology (J PSYCHOL THEOL )

Publisher: Rosemead Graduate School of Psychology; Rosemead Graduate School of Professional Psychology


The purpose of the Journal of Psychology and Theology is to communicate recent scholarly thinking on the interrelationships of psychological and theological concepts, and to consider the application of these concepts to a variety of professional settings. The major intent of the editor is to place before the evangelical community articles that have bearing on the nature of humankind from a biblical perspective.

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    Journal of Psychology & Theology website
  • Other titles
    Journal of psychology and theology, Journal of psychology & theology, Psychology and theology
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    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The safe haven and secure base functions of attachment to God were examined in proposed indirect and conditional effects models. Support for the safe haven function stemmed from significant specific indirect effects between spiritual instability and dispositional humility through lowered differentiation of self, through increased insecure God attachment, and through both increased insecure attachment and lowered differentiation of self. A nonsignificant direct effect was also found. Partial support for the secure base function was observed as realistic acceptance moderated the association between religious exploration and dispositional humility. A significant negative association between exploration and humility was observed at lower levels of realistic acceptance, and the effect became nonsignificant and positive at highest levels of realistic acceptance. Implications for the conceptualization of humility are discussed, with particular attention to the framing of humility as a virtue of self-regulation.
    Journal of psychology and theology 04/2014; 42(1):70-82.
  • Journal of psychology and theology 01/2014; 42:50-61.
  • Journal of psychology and theology 01/2014; 42:99-110.
  • Journal of psychology and theology 01/2014;
  • Journal of psychology and theology 01/2014; 42:19-30.
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    ABSTRACT: In the burgeoning literature of forgiveness, self-forgiveness is an aspect that has not received as much attention as other areas of research on forgiveness. Self-forgiveness is important in dealing with negative feelings toward the self when one violates the conscience. However, because criticisms have emerged against this construct, we attempt a theological and psychological defense of self-forgiveness by addressing following four questions: (a) Is self-forgiveness the same as or different from divine forgiveness? (b) What is the nature of self-forgiveness? (c) Can we rationally address the criticisms of self-forgiveness? (d) How does self-forgiveness interact with divine and person-toperson forgiveness? After addressing these questions, we delineate four implications for counselors working with clients struggling to forgive themselves. Self-forgiveness, as one form of the virtue of forgiveness, now needs to be opened up more widely and deeply for more clients, and their emotional health may be further enhanced by this experience that frees them from self-condemnation when guided by a counselor who knows the essence of what self-forgiveness is and is not.
    Journal of psychology and theology 01/2014; 42:260-268.
  • Journal of psychology and theology 01/2014; 42(3):293-301.
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    ABSTRACT: The present study focused on evaluating how anger at God may be related to the experience of personal moral transgression. People might view God as partly responsible for their transgressions if they attributed these transgressions to stable personal character traits that could be traced back to the way that they believe they were created by God. Viewing God as responsible for a trait that led to a transgression could lead the individual to feel angry at God. This hypothesis was tested in two studies across three samples. Results from the first study, a scenario-based experiment, supported our hypothesis. When individuals attributed a transgression to a core aspect of self, greater experiences of divine struggle were a likely result. Results from two cross-sectional samples (undergraduates and an adult web sample) revealed similar patterns regarding reallife transgression. Specifically, to the extent that people saw their personal transgressions as resulting from stable character traits, they reported greater anger toward God. This relationship was mediated by the extent to which individuals made negative interpretations of divine intent. In sum, people may experience struggles with the divine in response to their own personal transgressions, particularly when they attribute their transgressions to dispositional aspects of the self.
    Journal of psychology and theology 01/2014; 42(4):315-325.
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research on attachment relationships suggests that early parental interactions generate internalized models of self and others—models which are carried forward in later relationships. In order to investigate the relationships between secure attachment styles and their collective influence on spiritual maturity, a survey of 216 seminary students was conducted using the Parental Bonding Instrument, Adult Attachment Scale, and the Faith Maturity Index. Secure adult attachment styles were predicted to relate positively with spiritual maturity. Findings suggest that adult measures of secure attachment styles are correlated with faith maturity. Measures of parental bonding evidenced minimal associations with adult attachment styles and were weaker correlates of faith maturity. Secure adult attachment was a stronger predictor of faith maturity when compared to measures of parental bonding. Implications are offered for religious training institutions, the church, and the community. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Journal of psychology and theology 10/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Although many empirical studies have investigated marital distress and marital satisfaction, no research has been conducted on the impact of graduate school on marriage for students-in-training, particularly from the viewpoint of the nonstudent spouse. Using a qualitative research methodology, 6 male and 6 female spouses of 3rd and 4th year graduate students at an APA-approved program in clinical psychology were Ss in the present study. Three hypotheses investigated were (1) graduate training would have a detrimental effect on student marriages, (2) nonstudent spouses would report marital strain due to student spouses' emotional isolation and withdrawal, and (3) due to the process of acculturation into organized secular psychology, students' emphasis on personal religious faith would decrease. The 1st hypothesis was supported, the 2nd was unsupported, and the 3rd received mixed support. Three recommendations to support student marriages within graduate educational settings are offered in conclusion. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Journal of psychology and theology 10/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Addresses the purpose and prevalence of Christian spiritual interventions and proposes a series of progressive legal and ethical decision-making steps to improve therapists' skills in incorporating such interventions into psychotherapy. The initial steps include an assessment of the therapist's role, the setting of therapy, and the presenting problem of the client. Additional steps include obtaining informed consent, evaluating a therapist's competency, maintaining professional and scientific responsibility, respecting the client's religious values, documenting the use of spiritual interventions, making appropriate financial arrangements, and promoting the welfare of the client. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Journal of psychology and theology 10/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Enormous sociopolitical changes in Eastern Europe in the last decade have had a profound impact on the psychological functioning of the citizens of these nations. In order to assess and intervene in the mental health realm in Eastern Europe, a brief survey was sent to 29 Christian leaders in Eastern Europe. Common mental health problems identified across the various Eastern European countries and cultures include depression, relationship difficulties, alcohol abuse, and anxiety disorders. Christians in Eastern Europe tend to turn to family and friends for help with these problems 1st, pastors 2nd, and almost never to mental health professionals. Clergy and laypersons have little training in mental health issues. A promising direction for future service is training those who can, in turn, train Eastern European laypersons in basic listening and support skills. The authors believe that cultural awareness and sensitivity will be of paramount importance in such an endeavor. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Journal of psychology and theology 10/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: In addition to the religious coping styles proposed by K. I. Pargament et al (1988), a surrender style of coping is proposed. Surrender is not a passive waiting for God to take care of everything; rather, it entails an active choice to relinquish one's will to God's rule. Analysis of 30 surrender-associated coping items rated by 151 Christian undergraduates (aged 17–47 yrs) yielded a 12-item Surrender Scale with a reliability coefficient of .94. A factor analysis delineated Surrender as a separate factor from the other coping styles. Preliminary incremental validity was also established employing a hierarchical multiple regression analysis. After removing the effects of the other coping styles, the Surrender Scale correlated positively with religious importance, intrinsic religiousness, spiritual well-being, and locus of control in God. Moreover, the Surrender Scale correlated negatively with Extrinsic-Personal religiousness and locus of control in luck. As hypothesized, surrender, as a coping strategy, was significantly related with the other coping styles, yet it evidenced sufficient incremental validity for its consideration as a distinct coping style. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Journal of psychology and theology 10/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: While research on granting forgiveness has exploded recently, no theoretical or empirical attention has been directed at seeking forgiveness. The authors lay a theoretical base for the study of seeking forgiveness and report our initial study bearing on the concept. The authors investigate the potential role of some personality and developmental factors that might promote seeking forgiveness. 232 students (aged 18–55 yrs) who indicated having transgressed against a partner in the past year completed questionnaires on religiosity, age, developmental level of reasoning about forgiveness, narcissism, self-monitoring, and the level to which they had sought forgiveness. Neither religiosity not age significantly predicted seeking forgiveness. Developmental level of reasoning about forgiveness predicted seeking forgiveness beyond religiosity and age. Narcissism and self-monitoring significantly predicted seeking forgiveness. The authors outline limitations of the study and implications for future research, clinical practice, and integration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Journal of psychology and theology 10/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Pointing out the similarities and differences between pastoral counseling and pastoral psychology, our study presents the goals, curriculum, characteristics, and novelty of a specialization program in pastoral counseling established at a historic moment in Hungary, after the end of the communist dictatorship. On the one hand, we describe a university-level ecumenical, interdisciplinary, integrating specialization program in pastoral counseling which is offered at the graduate level through the cooperation of secular and ecclesiastical institutions of higher learning and which takes into account the differences of historical and cultural conditions between East Central Europe and the West. On the other hand, we present an effectiveness study of the program in which we measured, with the help of an instrument developed by our research group, changes in students’ pastoral counseling competence (N=55). In the longitudinal study ‘person-centeredness’, ‘non-directiveness’, ‘assuming responsibility for the process’, ‘ability to handle spiritual issues’, ‘recognition of competence boundaries’ showed significant increase. The results prove that students’ practical helping competence developed significantly, and our findings correspond to the goals of the educational program. We also discuss the strengths and limitations of the specialization program as well as its social significance.
    Journal of psychology and theology 01/2012;