This study investigates the life purposes and values of higher education students in the Netherlands and Finland (nDutch = 663, nFin = 846). The theoretical framework is built on the conceptualisation of life purpose by Damon et al. as well as Schwartz’s values model. The study adopted a convergent mixed methods design analysing qualitative and quantitative survey data. The content of students’ life purposes was explored with qualitative content analysis, followed by a statistical analysis of values measured with Short Schwartz’s Value Survey (SSVS) and examination of the alignment of purpose content and values. In both countries, students studying in generalist higher education institutions identified happiness as their most important (content of) life purpose, indicating a prevalence of hedonistic values. Students at a university with a specific emphasis on moral and values education expressed universalism, benevolence and self-direction as their purpose content, and also reported these as their values. We conclude that the model by Schwartz offers a valuable analytical tool for studying the content of life purposes. We also discuss the implications of our findings for developing moral and value education in the context of higher education.
A clear understanding of what constitutes effective religious leadership in the context of faith communities is essential for religious practitioners, religious communities, and educational institutes. Twenty-five years after the latest review study by Nauss, an updated overview is needed to account for new insights, especially regarding the latest developments in leadership research and the changing religious landscape. A scoping review was conducted in four databases from 1997 to 2022 to examine the academic literature. The search identified 64 unique references that researched effective religious leadership using 27 different effectiveness criteria. These criteria were categorized based on their target of evaluation: (1) the religious leader, (2) followers/members, and (3) the congregation. Although most references assessed leadership effectiveness by evaluating the religious leader, the most used effectiveness criterion was ‘attendance or numerical growth.’ Over the last 25 years, the criteria for religious leadership effectiveness have become more diverse, and a growing number of references combine criteria from multiple targets to evaluate effectiveness. However, the focus on Christian leadership remains prevalent in the academic literature. The present overview is intended as a starting point for future research as it identifies the current trends and existing knowledge gaps. The study’s findings also invite religious practitioners and congregations to reflect on their methods of assessing leadership effectiveness.
The changes that parents face when caring for a child with a life-limiting condition at home can affect them on a spiritual level. Yet, indications remain that parents do not feel supported when dealing with spiritual issues related to caring for a severely ill child. This paper explores, from the perspectives of bereaved parents, chaplains, grief counselors, and primary health care providers, the barriers to supporting the spiritual needs of parents. We conducted a qualitative focus group study from a constructivist point with chaplains/grief counselors, primary care professionals, and bereaved parents. All groups participated in two consecutive focus group sessions. Data were thematically analyzed. Six chaplains/grief counselors, 6 care professionals, and 5 parents participated. We identified six barriers: (1) There were difficulties in identifying and communicating spiritual care needs. (2) The action-oriented approach to health care hinders the identification of spiritual care needs. (3) There is an existing prejudice that spiritual care needs are by nature confrontational or difficult to address. (4) Spiritual support is not structurally embedded in palliative care. (5) There is a lack of knowledge and misconceptions about existing support. (6) Seeking out spiritual support is seen as too demanding. Conclusion: Parents of children with life-limiting conditions face existential challenges. However, care needs are often not identified, and existing support is not recognized as such. The main challenge is to provide care professionals and parents with the tools and terminology that suit existing care needs. What is Known: • Spiritual care needs are an important aspect of pediatric palliative care. • Parents of children with life-limiting conditions feel unsupported when dealing with spiritual questions. What is New: • Parents and professionals mention barriers that hinder spiritual support for parents. • There is a disconnect between existing support and the care needs that parents have.
Background People with early-stage dementia could benefit greatly from on-going spiritual support. However, health care professionals working in dementia care often do not have a clear idea of what such support might entail. There is a lack of tools that can help professionals provide such support. The Diamond conversation model used in palliative care could provide such a support. Aims: To develop the Diamond model for early-stage dementia so that professionals can provide better spiritual support. Methods Participatory research was conducted. Reflective interviews with chaplains, case managers and health psychologists identified frequently occurring existential and spiritual issues of clients and family members. A core participatory group consisting of chaplains, a psychologist and a researcher further analysed these issues thematically and co-developed the Diamond model for early stage dementia over three co-creation sessions. Researchers with Diamond model expertise provided feedback to the core participatory group in between these sessions based on the session output. Findings Central existential and spiritual issues were found to be: self-confidence and –worth, adaptability and capacity, security and loss, burden and enrichment of memory and faith and meaning. The five polarities of the Diamond model were found helpful to understand tensions surrounding these issues. Specific tensions were identified between maintaining a self and being valued, finding direction in what to do and a way to bear changes in ability, a strong need for attachment and letting go of past ways to relate to one another, the renewed intensity of long term memories and decline of the short term ones and surrendering to one’s life situation and wanting certainty and meaning. Conclusions The newly developed Diamond model for people with early-stage dementia offers a valuable framework to help professionals provide conversational support. More research needs to be done to further test and develop the model in practice.
Despite the vast developments in research on loss and grief, dominant grief models fall short in reflecting the comprehensive issues grieving persons are facing. Three causes seem to be at play: grief is usually understood to be connected to death and other types of loss are under-researched; the majority of research is done from the field of psychology and on pathological forms of grief, hardly integrating research from other disciplines; and the existential suffering related to grief is not recognized or insufficiently integrated in the dominant models. In this paper, we propose an integrated process model (IPM) of loss and grief, distinguishing five dimensions of grief: physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual. The integrated process model integrates therapies, tools, and models within different scientific theories and paradigms to connect disciplines and professions. The comprehensive and existential understanding of loss and grief has relevance for research, clinical settings and community support.
Background The Beach Center Family Quality of Life Scale has been developed and validated in different languages in different countries. However, this scale has not been validated in the Ethiopian Amharic language context. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the cross-cultural validity of the Beach Center Family Quality of Life Scale, among Ethiopian families of persons affected by leprosy and podoconiosis. Methodology We explored the semantic equivalence, internal consistency, reproducibility, floor and ceiling effects, and interpretability of the Beach Center Family Quality of Life Scale in Amharic. A cross-sectional study was conducted after the translation and back-translation of the instrument. A total of 302 adult persons affected by leprosy or podoconiosis was asked about their level of satisfaction with their family life, using the Beach Center Family Quality of Life Scale. In addition, 50 participants were re-interviewed two weeks after the initial assessment to test the reproducibility of the scale. Participants were recruited in the East Gojjam zone of Northwest Ethiopia. Results The findings of this study showed that the Beach Center Family Quality of Life Scale had high internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha of 0.913) and reproducibility (intra-class correlation coefficient of 0.857). The standard error of measurement was 3.01, which is 2.4% of the total score range. The smallest detectable change was 8.34. Confirmatory factor analysis showed adequate factor loadings and model fit indices like the original scale. The composite reliability and average variance extracted from the scale were acceptable. No floor and ceiling effects were found. Conclusions Our findings indicate that the Amharic version of the Beach Center Family Quality of Life Scale has adequate cultural validity to assess the family quality of life in Ethiopian families of persons affected by leprosy and podoconiosis.
Background Seclusion is a coercive measure - temporary confinement in an almost empty, non-stimulating room in a closed psychiatric admission ward to prevent (further) urgent danger due to a mental disorder. Although there is observational research about patients’ behaviors during separation (e.g. hitting walls or doors, sleeping, or praying), research into the subjective and existential dimension of the experience of seclusion in psychiatry is rare. Aim Aim of the current study is to describe and analyze - using the theoretical lenses of Yalom (1980) and Jaspers (1919) - how clients experience their involuntary stay in a seclusion room in a closed psychiatric clinic in existential terms. Methods A qualitative study was carried out among former clients (N = 10) who were asked, in retrospect, about their existential concerns in the seclusion room. In the thematic analysis, the main, deductive codes were theory based (Yalom, Jaspers), composed of subcodes that were inductively derived from the interviews. Results The respondents affirmed the ultimate existential concerns about death (e.g. sensing to be dead already), lack of freedom (e.g. loss of agency), isolation (e.g. interpersonal, not able to speak, feeling an object) and meaninglessness. With respect to the latter, the respondents reported a rich variety of spiritual experiences (both negative, such as knowing to be in hell, as positive, hearing/imagining a comforting voice or noticing/imagining a scenery of nature in the room). Discussion Although some experiences and behaviors may conflate with symptoms of psychosis, the participants generally expressed a relief about the ability to talk about their experiences. Sharing and discussing the existential experiences fits into the paradigm of psychiatric recovery and personalized care. Their intensity was obvious and might have warranted additional support by a chaplain or spiritual counselor in mental health care settings.
Recent works on stigma have emphasised the importance of ‘looking up’ towards issues of power and stigma production. In that process, empirical attention to stigma resistance ‘from below’ has remained limited. When resistance is discussed, it typically takes the form of collective, organised and explicit resistance. Drawing on insights from resistance studies, this article pays attention to everyday practices of resistance that are subtle, unorganised and implicit and calls for an empirically robust theory of stigma resistance. In doing so, it contributes to the recent revival of the sociology of stigma. Based on ethnographic research methods, the article discusses the stigmatisation of people with intellectual disabilities in sheltered workshops and identifies three anti-stigma practices: (1) redirecting, (2) replacing and (3) redefining stigmatising norms. Two lessons can be learned from this study and inform future research. First, everyday resistance is ambivalent: it implies a partial incorporation and partial rejection of norms. Second, rather than political intention (only), stigma resistance can be based on a variety of desires and needs. Recognising this allows us to see stigmatised people as individuals who have at least some power to fight and transform stigma.
Is a neo-Platonic theory of moral education better than a neo-Aristotelian one, because the former offers a dialogue method that teachers can use in universities to induce epiphanies in students, in order to jump-start the moral development of those with a rather vicious character? In this paper, this claim, put forward by Jonas and Nakazawa (2020) in their book A Platonic Theory of Moral Education, is evaluated. Admittedly, the Nicomachean Ethics, which came to us in the form of a collection of edited lecture notes, gives the impression that Aristotle was not interested in dialogue. But by looking at the dialogical form of the Ethics and by consulting some of his ideas on logic, I show that Aristotle’s oeuvre does include valuable ideas about how teachers may conduct dialogues with their students. These dialogues may not yield epiphanies and will not convert vicious adults, but they are suitable for reaching most students and can appeal to their emotions and practical wisdom. While Jonas and Nakazawa argue that Plato and Aristotle only agree on the centrality of habituation, imitation, and role-modeling in their accounts of moral education, I conclude that dialogue should be added to that list.
The COVID-19 outbreak forced higher education students to study online-only. Previous research indicates that forced solitude or loneliness can cause a variety of problems for students, among which is reduced academic engagement. The Basic Psychological Needs Theory, a sub-theory of Self-Determination Theory, relates academic engagement to three basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence and relatedness), whereas varying theories on loneliness highlight the complexities of engaging in a learning environment whilst feeling lonely. As university staff members have been struggling to keep students on task since the COVID-19 outbreak, the need arose for more knowledge about to what extent students have felt lonely, frustrated or satisfied in their need for relatedness and to what extent this affected their academic engagement. A convergent Mixed Methods research study was conducted among university students ( N = 228) and an online questionnaire was administered to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. A series of multiple hierarchical regression analyses were performed, considering demographic characteristics, to analyze the quantitative data. Qualitative data was coded using a hybrid approach of deductive and inductive coding. Themes were generated that depicted in-depth issues of relatedness, loneliness, and academic engagement. Quantitative analysis demonstrated the importance for academic engagement of both (a) ‘basic need satisfaction and frustration’ of relatedness in life and in ‘social study context’, and (b) feeling (emotionally) lonely. The negative impact of frustration of relatedness seemed to be dominant but also overlapped with the effects of loneliness. The qualitative outcomes support and complement these quantitative results. The results showed that students’ academic engagement suffered from the loss of a shared physical space and from uncertainty about university policies. For a minority of students, however, the relief from social obligations that came along with social distancing was a blessing in disguise.
In spiritual care research, studies on military chaplaincy are underrepresented, and most available studies center on moral injury. This article contributes to the existing literature on spiritual care in the military by presenting a study of 13 case descriptions of spiritual care provision by military chaplains from the Netherlands. These were analyzed using the framework method, a qualitative method of systematically searching for patterns in data sets, in order to answer the question: How do military chaplains contribute to the moral resilience of soldiers and veterans experiencing moral stress? The analytical framework was constructed on the basis of Doehring’s (Pastoral Psychology, 64(5), 635–649, 2015) conceptual understanding of moral resilience as the outcome of processes of spiritual integration of moral stress in caregiving relationships. This study shows that soldiers experience moral stress when core values associated with ‘being a soldier’ conflict with expectations or actions of soldiers themselves or of others, with the way the military organization functions, or with the spiritual notion of ‘being a good, loving and loveworthy human being’. In their responses to moral stress, chaplains contribute to moral resilience by engaging in co-creating spiritual orienting frameworks which accommodate a sense of goodness of self and others and allow for nuanced, biographically rooted moral views. Soldiers experience conversations and brief encounters with chaplains as relational ‘moments of goodness’, which may also contribute to moral resilience.
This article argues in favor of introducing chaplaincy care at asylum centers and develops three arguments for doing so. First, chaplaincy is one way to protect the right to health of refugees and to improve their spiritual well-being. The positive contribution of chaplaincy services to mental health care is increasingly recognized, especially in the domain of PTSD. Second, chaplaincy services support asylum seekers in exercising their freedom of religion while entrusted to state care. Chaplains can create a safe space for asylum seekers to reflect on their spiritual and religious needs, orientation and belonging. Third, chaplains are well positioned to help asylum seekers in rebuilding their life-sustaining web, while at the same time promoting a climate of inclusion and respect in and outside the asylum center.
Spiritual care is increasingly seen as a task of all health care professionals. This is challenging for chaplains working in health care, who hold spiritual care at the heart of their profession but don’t feel rooted in a strong professional identity. In this article we discuss a participatory action research that aimed at strengthening the professional identity of health care chaplains by forming collaborative learning communities of chaplains and general practice mental health. The focus is on the ‘boundary work’ and how participatory action research contributes to this. Relational professionalism, Dialogical Self Theory and Boundary Theory are combined to interpret the complex relational-dialogical processes of negotiating one’s identity within the relationships with diverse others: clients, mental health nurses and society. The result is a more articulated and at the same time flexible professional identity for healthcare chaplains. Participatory action research contributes to these boundary processes by stimulating reflection, explicating, eliciting or encouraging different voices and facilitating the dialogue between these professionals.
Introduction Throughout history, Jewish communities have been exposed to collectively experienced traumatic events. Little is known about the role that the community plays in the impact of these traumatic events on Jewish diaspora people. This scoping review aims to map the concepts of the resilience of Jewish communities in the diaspora and to identify factors that influence this resilience. Methods We followed the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) methodology. Database searches yielded 2,564 articles. Sixteen met all inclusion criteria. The analysis was guided by eight review questions. Results Community resilience of the Jewish diaspora was often described in terms of coping with disaster and struggling with acculturation. A clear definition of community resilience of the Jewish diaspora was lacking. Social and religious factors, strong organizations, education, and communication increased community resilience. Barriers to the resilience of Jewish communities in the diaspora included the interaction with the hosting country and other communities, characteristics of the community itself, and psychological and cultural issues. Discussion Key gaps in the literature included the absence of quantitative measures of community resilience and the lack of descriptions of how community resilience affects individuals’ health-related quality of life. Future studies on the interaction between community resilience and health-related individual resilience are warranted.
The birth of modern aesthetics cannot be separated from the emergence of a new, non-dogmatic conception of religion and theology. Friedrich Schlegel advocated ‘art as new religion’ while Friedrich Schleiermacher developed a vision on religion as a deeply aesthetic experience. In this rich intellectual context, one author stands out as deeply steeped in this field of innovative dialogues between philosophy, religion and art (against the backdrop of profound historical transformations) and as a singular figure beckoning towards a future (and a future language) that was still to come: Friedrich Hölderlin. In his later work, Hölderlin’s poetic voice retreats into a process of meticulous reading and writing, a complex score of traces and signs that articulate difference, not-yet-presence and potentiality, which is nothing other than the experience of finite time. In doing so, Hölderlin retraces the divine in history and in human existence: its retreat and expected arrival. In this article, we present readings and interpretations of Hölderlin’s later poetry, with a specific focus on the Winke or hints of the gods, and the vocabulary of nods and signs (Zeichen) signifying the experience of time’s passing as the announcement of an unthinkable future. By involving Jean-Luc Nancy’s rethinking of the Winke as intersections of the divinity of humanity and the humanity of divinity, we will arrive at a new understanding of Hölderlin’s emblematic figures of modernity: the stranger and the passer-by as receivers and transmitters of these Winke.
Purpose: With this study, we aimed to explore the emotional experiences of sick-listed employees facing imminent job loss, as this emotional distress may hinder successful job search outcomes. The study had two objectives: (1) to develop and validate the Imminent Job Loss Scale (IJLS) for assessing pre-job loss grief reactions and (2) to examine its relationship to work attachment. Method: Development of the IJLS was carried out using feedback from an expert panel. The psychometric properties of the IJLS were evaluated, and its association with work attachment was examined using data from 200 sick-listed employees facing imminent job loss. Results: The IJLS demonstrated strong internal consistency and temporal stability, distinctiveness from depression and anxiety symptoms, and solid convergent validity. Work-centrality and organizational commitment were positively related to pre-job loss grief reactions, while work engagement and calling showed no significant associations. Conclusion: This study provides valuable insights into pre-job loss grief reactions and shows the potential utility of the IJLS for screening and monitoring purposes. Understanding pre-job loss grief reactions can improve the re-integration and job prospects of sick-listed employees. In future research, explorations of these dynamics should continue to provide better support to sick-listed employees during this challenging period.
Background: With this study, we aimed to explore the emotional experiences of sick-listed employees facing imminent job loss, as this emotional distress may hinder successful job search outcomes. The study had two objectives: (1) to develop and validate the Imminent Job Loss Scale (IJLS) for assessing pre-job loss grief reactions and (2) to examine its relationship to work attachment. Methods: Development of the 9-item IJLS was carried out using feedback from an expert panel, consisting of five academic experts in grief and labour, five re-integration specialists, and five sick-listed employees facing imminent job loss. The psychometric properties of the IJLS were evaluated, and its association with work attachment was examined using data from 200 sick-listed employees facing imminent job loss. Results: The IJLS demonstrated strong internal consistency and temporal stability, distinctiveness from depression and anxiety symptoms, and strong convergent validity. Work-centrality and organizational commitment were positively related to pre-job loss grief reactions, while work engagement and calling showed no significant associations. Conclusion: This study provides valuable insights into pre-job loss grief reactions and shows the potential utility of the IJLS for screening and monitoring purposes. Understanding pre-job loss grief reactions can improve the re-integration and job prospects of sick-listed employees. In future research, explorations of these dynamics should continue to provide better support to sick-listed employees during this challenging period.
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