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Abstract

Psychological entitlement is a stable personality trait known to predict a range of concerning outcomes in people’s lives. Recent research has suggested that entitlement might have domain-specific manifestations such as romantic entitlement, academic entitlement, and sexual entitlement. The present work sought to examine such a domain specific manifestation in the religious and spiritual realm. This new manifestation was called divine entitlement. The present studies sought to validate this construct and demonstrate its associations with concerning, domain-relevant outcomes. In 2 studies using 6 samples (Study 1, total N = 556; Study 2, Total N = 2,113) divine entitlement was validated as a construct and the Divine Entitlement Scale was developed and validated as a brief measure of this construct. Subsequent structural equation models found that divine entitlement also has a positive, predictive relationship with spiritual struggles with the divine. Through this association (divine entitlement with divine struggle), there was also an indirect association of divine entitlement with psychological distress more broadly. Collectively, these findings illustrate that entitlement may also be exhibited in a domain-specific manner in one’s religious and spiritual life and that this domain-specific manifestation may also have concerning outcomes in both religious and spiritual life and mental health more generally.

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... However, religiosity in the U.S. is decreasing rapidly and it is unclear what the implications of the loss of this prosocial developmental context will be (Pew Research Center, 2019). Furthermore, narcissism and entitlement are even beginning to contaminate religion-creating religious observers with a "God owes me" mentality (Grubbs et al., 2018) and imagining a God that only exists to grant the wishes of his followers (Smith, 2010). In addition, one study found that extrinsically motivated religious observers scored higher on the dark triad (grandiose narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism) and lower on empathy than nonreligious observers (Łowicki & Zajenkowski, 2017). ...
... We also hypothesized that transcendent indebtedness to God is positively related to empathy and positive well-being. Finally, we hypothesized that transcendent indebtedness to God is negatively related to religious dysfunction, namely, "divine entitlement" (Grubbs et al., 2018) and "costly grace" (Bufford et al., 2017), as well as negative life events, trait entitlement, perfectionism, and narcissism. ...
... α = .89; Grubbs et al., 2018) was used to measure domain-specific feelings of entitlement towards God. Responses ranged from 1 = Strongly disagree to 5 = Strongly agree. ...
... Recent work has validated a domain-specific form of trait entitlement known as divine entitlement (Grubbs, Exline, Pargament, Campbell, & Twenge, 2017). This construct refers to feelings of privilege, demandingness, and deservingness in one's perceived relationship with a deity (Grubbs, 2016). ...
... Developed and validated in diverse samples, divine entitlement demonstrates a strong relationship with trait entitlement more generally (r = 0.51-0.63; Grubbs et al., 2017). Furthermore, divine entitlement fully mediates the previously discussed relationship between trait entitlement and divine struggles more generally and demonstrates convincing and sizable indirect effects on psychological distress more generally, through divine struggles. ...
Chapter
Narcissism and narcissistic traits are known to affect various aspects of human functioning, with such traits often being associated with problematic outcomes in social, professional, and interpersonal domains. Another area in which narcissism seems to have some negative consequences is in spiritual functioning. Oftentimes, individuals, regardless of narcissistic traits, may experience difficulties in religious and spiritual functioning, known as religious and spiritual struggles. Although research in this domain is still burgeoning, recent research suggests that narcissism and narcissistic traits-especially trait entitlement- are associated with difficulties in religious and spiritual functioning such as religious and spiritual struggles. The present chapter reviews existing literature related to narcissism and religious and spiritual functioning, with a specific focus on how religious and spiritual struggles are associated with such traits. Links between narcissism and specific struggles (i.e., struggles with deity such as anger at God; interpersonal religious and spiritual struggles, such as conflicts over religion) are explored, and directions for future research are posited. © Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018.
... Belief in a loving God can also help to meet attachment needs (Granqvist et al., 2010). Belief could serve self-enhancement needs, as when belief in particular supernatural entities is socially desirable in one's culture (Sedikides & Gebauer, 2013) or when people see a supernatural entity as favoring them (see, e.g., spiritual grandiosity entity by Hall & Edwards, 2002), perhaps entitling them to special benefits (Grubbs et al., 2017). In addition, various studies have shown that beliefs in both positive and negative supernatural entities increase under meaning-related threat, indicating that such beliefs may serve needs related to maintaining a coherent and purposeful view of the world (Baker, 2008;Inzlicht et al., 2011;Routledge et al., 2016). ...
Article
Many people believe in supernatural entities, which might be personal (deities, devils, ghosts) or impersonal (fate/destiny, karma, luck). Some people see such entities as causing events in the world, including experiences in their own lives. Our study draws on social, motivational, and cognitive frameworks to predict beliefs and experiences involving supernatural entities. We hypothesized that positive predictors of beliefs in specific entities (God, the devil, ghosts/spirits, impersonal forces of fate/destiny, luck and karma) would include being taught about the entities early in life, anticipating positive reactions from peers about one’s beliefs, and wanting to believe in such entities. We also proposed that beliefs in specific entities, along with beliefs that such entities can affect the natural world, would predict more perceived experiences with these entities. We preregistered and tested these hypotheses in two samples (Ns = 475 and 290) of undergraduates. Path analytic results were largely consistent across entities. Being taught to believe in a specific entity early in life predicted current desire to believe in the entity but anticipated reactions from peers did not. Current desire to believe, in turn, strongly predicted belief in the entity, belief that the entity can affect the natural world, and perceived experiences with the entity. Belief in supernatural entities strongly predicted perceived experiences with them. These results map the structure of relations between relatively stable predictors of supernatural attributions, with an emphasis on social, cognitive, and motivational factors, and they suggest some plausible pathways by which such beliefs and experiences might develop.
... In recent years, there has been a notable increase in the study of religion and addiction (e.g., Benda & McGovern, 2006;Faigin, Pargament, & Abu-Raiya, 2014;Grubbs, Exline, Campbell, Twenge, & Pargament, 2017;Stauner, Exline, Kusina, & Pargament, 2019). Of note, this increase is in empirical attention, as various religious and spiritual (r/s) communities around the world have recognized for millennia that behaviours and substances may be potentially addictive and cause negative consequences (e.g., Sura Ma'idah 5:90-91). ...
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Introduction Throughout history, ideas about addiction have been informed and influenced by religious belief and practice. Even continuing into the present, religion and spirituality are often thought to impact attitudes towards addiction and its treatment, particularly given the use of religion and spirituality in various well-known treatments such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Although research has flourished with regards to the role that addiction and spirituality might play in vulnerability to addiction or the treatment of addiction, there has been comparatively less research examining how religion might impact attitudes toward addiction more broadly. Method The present work sought to examine the current state of empirical literature evaluating the relationships between religion and attitudes toward addiction and addiction treatment. In service of the above aim, a scoping review was conducted. Results This summary of peer-reviewed, quantitative studies (n=36) found that higher religiosity is related to more belief in the disease model of addiction in providers, negative attitudes towards addiction, and a stronger support for spiritually based treatments. However, results varied based on the measures used and many relationships tested were not significant. There also appeared to be differences in the interaction between religion and spirituality and other variables, such as the respondent’s sex or whether the individual was a student or provider, in terms of attitudes. Conclusions Further research is needed to fully understand the nuances in the relationship between these variables, including more clear operationalization and standardized measurement. Until such research is conducted, no cohesive conclusions can be drawn, and clinical implications remain unclear.
... Furthermore, research indicates that spiritual struggles following loss may also result in spiritual growth (Desai & Pargament, 2015), and that divine struggle is more common among believers with specific personality traits such as low agreeableness, neuroticism, divine entitlement, and low humility Grubbs et al., 2018). This complex picture suggests that different people may experience divine struggle in different ways. ...
Article
Child loss may undermine one’s faith. Whereas much is known about religion’s role following loss, less is known about the experience of divine struggle—namely, struggling with complex God-related emotions/beliefs—particularly among diverse sociocultural samples. Employing a narrative approach, we interviewed 20 bereaved Modern-Orthodox parents. Analysis revealed three types of divine struggle (explicit, implicit/silenced, none) differentiated by four categories: core emotional experience, response type, significance of faith in the coping process, and the impact of grief-induced divine struggle on parent-God relationship. Findings emphasize the need for culturally-sensitive inquiry of divine struggle, that divine struggle may be silenced, and therapists’ awareness is critical.
... As Grubbs, Exline, Campbell, Twenge, and Pargament (2018) indicate, psychological entitlement is part of the larger construct under which AE is just one domain. Luckett et al. (2017) expanded our understanding of this construct by identifying three domains where entitlement is manifest: grades, behaviors, and service. ...
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At the end of every semester, some students will boldly email me asking for their grade to be bumped. These requests and their motives seem closely tied to academic entitlement, which has mostly been studied quantitatively. Creating a dialogue with this published literature, this research seeks to uncover the lived meanings of a grade perceived as unjust. Using a Heideggerian life-world approach, I analyzed an email archive to explore how students are projecting lived understandings of themselves that are at odds with their grades. In their plaintive plea to change their grades, the students are seeking affirmation of their self-understanding, demanding to be seen and valued as they see themselves. These results are discussed in light of the literature reviewed and directions for future research are proffered.
... Perhaps believers in a loving and supportive God benefit more from scriptural coping than those who perceive God as detached or judgmental (Bradshaw, Ellison, and Marcum 2010;Ellison et al. 2012). Similarly, people with an exaggerated sense of entitlement or self-worth could be inclined to become angry with God when facing distressing circumstances, in which case turning to scripture may only add fuel to the fire (Grubbs, Exline, and Campbell 2013;Grubbs et al. 2017). ...
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This study develops and tests a theory of scriptural coping. Using elements from hermeneutic theory as our guide, we contend that (1) specific life exigencies will increase the likelihood of someone turning to scripture for relevant insights, and (2) reading scripture for relevant insights will moderate associations between exigencies and psychological well-being. Analyzing nationally representative data from the 2012 General Social Survey (n = 1,551), we find that poor self-rated health and low socioeconomic status increase the likelihood of someone reading scripture for insight into attaining health and wealth, respectively. Moreover, reading scripture for health insights amplifies the positive association between poor health and depressive symptoms, thereby suggesting a stress-exacerbating effect of scriptural coping. Scripture is a polysemous resource, one that can alternatively provide comfort or trigger negative coping in the face of psychosocial stress. We discuss the implications and limitations of these findings and outline avenues for future research.
... Why did you create me with these weaknesses?" Blame and anger focused on God should be stronger among people with a strong sense of divine entitlement, who expect exceptional amounts of divine favor and protection (Grubbs, Exline, Twenge, Campbell, & Pargament, 2016). ...
Chapter
Although religion and spirituality often bring comfort and hope, people can also experience religious/spiritual (r/s) struggles in multiple domains: divine, demonic, moral, interpersonal, doubt-related, and ultimate meaning. This chapter explores how these types of r/s struggles could relate to challenges and opportunities associated with various aspects of the self-forgiveness process. Our primary aim is to provide a conceptual overview and to generate testable hypotheses, with the broader aim of providing a foundation for more systematic empirical work in the future. We will focus on three aspects of the self-forgiveness process: acknowledging one’s perceived wrongdoing and accepting responsibility, apology/repentance and making amends, and releasing unhelpful negative thoughts and emotions. Although there are many possible ways that challenges with self-forgiveness might lead to r/s struggles and vice versa, successful attempts to work through these challenges could promote relational healing and personal growth.
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Religious and spiritual (R/S) struggles are tensions or conflicts one experiences in relationship to what is considered sacred or transcendent. In this study, we tested competing causal models of psychological distress as it relates to personality and R/S struggle using structural equation modeling. The study sample consisted of 226 (72.0%) females and 88 (28.0%) males (n = 314) drawn from the Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) worker population. We found that though the five-factor model (FFM) of personality was a robust predictor of psychological distress, the R/S struggle added significant, incremental predictiveness. SEM analyses supported our contention that R/S struggle may represent a new, causal pathway of psychological distress that is independent from the FFM. Our findings are taken as evidence that R/S struggles require unique ways of conceptualizing their causal impact on clinical impairment and that psychological interventions need to systematically address numinous constructs in order to ensure that all aspects of emotional dysphoria are considered and their influences treated.
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Research has demonstrated that narcissism is related to the perpetration of aggression. Despite being commonly considered a pathological form of personality, theorists have argued that narcissism represents a mix of adaptive (e.g., Self-Sufficiency) and maladaptive (e.g., Entitlement and Exploitativeness) traits. The current study sought to examine the relationship between narcissistic traits and aggression. Ninety-one men completed a laboratory aggression task in which participants had the opportunity to administer electric shocks to a confederate or to refrain from doing so. General aggression as well as initial and extreme aggression were measured. Results indicated that narcissistic entitlement and exploitativeness were the narcissistic subtraits that best predicted all measures of aggression. The findings support existing research that identifies these traits as particularly maladaptive traits of narcissism, and are discussed in terms of the linkage between narcissism and perpetration of violence and victimization.
Chapter
Although religion and spirituality often bring comfort and hope, people can also experience religious/spiritual (r/s) struggles in multiple domains: divine, demonic, moral, interpersonal, doubt-related, and ultimate meaning. This chapter explores how these types of r/s struggles could relate to challenges and opportunities associated with various aspects of the self-forgiveness process. Our primary aim is to provide a conceptual overview and to generate testable hypotheses, with the broader aim of providing a foundation for more systematic empirical work in the future. We will focus on three aspects of the self-forgiveness process: acknowledging one’s perceived wrongdoing and accepting responsibility, apology/repentance and making amends, and releasing unhelpful negative thoughts and emotions. Although there are many possible ways that challenges with self-forgiveness might lead to r/s struggles and vice versa, successful attempts to work through these challenges could promote relational healing and personal growth.
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Psychological entitlement is a personality trait characterized by pervasive feelings of deservingness, specialness, and exaggerated expectations. The present review expands upon this understanding by conceptualizing entitlement as a cognitive-personality vulnerability to psychological distress. A review of research is conducted, and a novel, multipart model is described by which entitlement may be seen as such a vulnerability. First, exaggerated expectations, notions of the self as special, and inflated deservingness associated with trait entitlement present the individual with a continual vulnerability to unmet expectations. Second, entitled individuals are likely to interpret these unmet expectations in ways that foster disappointment, ego threat, and a sense of perceived injustice, all of which may lead to psychological distress indicators such as dissatisfaction across multiple life domains, anger, and generally volatile emotional responses. Furthermore, in the wake of disappointment, ego threat, or perceived injustice, entitled individuals are likely to attempt to bolster their entitled self-concept, leading to a reinforcement of entitled beliefs, thereby initiating the cycle again. At each stage of this process, entitlement presents the individual with the possibility of experiencing distress, predisposes further risk factors for distress (e.g., the subsequent steps in the model), and increases the risk of interpersonal conflict, again leading to distress. A review of relevant empirical data suggests preliminary support for this conceptual model of entitlement. (PsycINFO Database Record
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The current investigation explored prevalence, predictors, and psychological implications of religious and spiritual (r/s) struggles among an Israeli-Palestinian, Muslim sample. R/s struggle was assessed by the Religious and Spiritual Struggles Scale (Exline et al. 2014), a newly developed scale that assesses a wide array of r/s struggles. Factor analysis of the scale in this study revealed five factors of struggle: Divine and Doubt, Punitive Entities, Interpersonal, Moral, and Ultimate Meaning. Of the 139 Muslim participants, between 1.4 percent and 40.2 percent experienced various r/s struggles. Positive God image and fundamentalism predicted lower levels of struggle, whereas negative God image and universality predicted higher levels of struggle. After controlling for religious variables, we found that both depressive symptoms and generalized anxiety were predicted by Punitive Entities and Ultimate Meaning struggles, while satisfaction with life was predicted by Interpersonal struggle. Possible explanations and implications of the findings are offered, and the limitations of the study are discussed.
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Personality factors such as low agreeableness and psychological entitlement are often highly predictive of spiritual struggle. Our aim was to examine trait humility as a potential predictor of lower levels of divine struggles-struggles focused on emotions or ideas about God. Specifically, we proposed that humility would correlate negatively with two forms of divine struggle: anger at God and religious fear and guilt. To test these hypotheses, we conducted a cross-sectional analysis with undergraduates (160 men, 152 women). Results indicated that humility was indeed negatively related to both forms of divine struggle. For anger at God, both in general and in reaction to a specific event, these findings were very robust, maintaining significance even when other related personality factors (e.g., psychological entitlement, agreeableness, trait anger) were held constant. For religious fear and guilt, humility was only marginally significant when controlling for such variables. In sum, humility does appear to function as a trait-level negative predictor of divine struggles.
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A growing body of research suggests that people who are more humble tend to enjoy better physical and mental health than individuals who are less humble. The next step in moving this literature forward involves explaining and empirically demonstrating how the potentially beneficial effects of humility arise. The purpose of this study is to address this issue by seeing whether humility buffers the effects of stressful life events on four measures of well-being: happiness, life satisfaction, depressed affect, and generalized anxiety disorder. Data from a new nationwide survey (N = 3010) suggest that the magnitude of the negative relationship between stressful life events and all four measures of well-being is reduced among people who are more humble. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.
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This study compared grandiose narcissism and vulnerable narcissism in terms of emotional reactions to threats involving achievement failure and interpersonal rejection. It was hypothesized that grandiose narcissism is associated with vulnerability to achievement setbacks. In contrast, vulnerable narcissism involves sensitivity to shaming interpersonal experiences. A randomized experimental 2-wave design was used with a community sample of 448 participants. Each participant was asked to imagine 1 of 4 randomly assigned hypothetical scenarios intended to evoke the threat of high- (n = 117) or low- (n = 105) level interpersonal rejection; or high- (n = 108) or low- (n = 118) level achievement failure. According to this study,s findings, in the high achievement-threat group, but not in the high interpersonal-threat group, grandiose narcissism significantly predicted greater change in negative outcomes. In contrast, in the face of a high-level interpersonal threat, but not a high-level achievement-threat, high levels of vulnerable narcissism were significantly associated with greater change in negative outcomes. These findings illustrate how different types of threatening situations vary in their relevance to grandiose narcissism as compared to vulnerable narcissism.
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Research on spirituality and forgiveness has begun to examine the types of dynamic, spiritual experiences that can promote forgiveness. Specifically, we explore how victims may see an offender's humility in relationship with the Sacred, and how this appraisal affects forgiveness. We also describe the development of the Spiritual Humility Scale (SHS). In Study 1 (N = 300; F = 166, M = 134), the SHS had a single-factor structure using exploratory factor analysis. In Study 2 (N = 150), the factor structure replicated and evidence supporting construct validity was adduced. Specifically, the SHS was moderately correlated with other spiritual appraisals and with judgments of general humility. It was correlated with forgiveness, even after controlling for other spiritual appraisals. This relationship was moderated by religious commitment, such that appraising spiritual humility affected forgiveness for those high, but not low, in religious commitment.
Article
Recent theoretical and empirical work by Lee Kirkpatrick and others has suggested that relationship with God can be fruitfully described as an attachment bond. However, this literature has been limited by the lack of a sound theoretical and psychometric scale that operationalizes the attachment to God construct. Toward that end, the paper presents data from three samples, two college and one community sample, describing the psychometric properties of the Attachment to God Inventory (AGI) as well as providing tests of the correspondence and compensation hypotheses. In general, the AGI subscales of Avoidance of Intimacy and Anxiety about Abandonment display good factor structure, internal consistency, and construct validity. Comparisons of the AGI with adulthood attachment measures appear to support, albeit weakly, a correspondence between working models of romantic others and God.
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A number of scholars recently have argued for fundamental changes in the way psychological scientists conduct and report research. The behavior of researchers is influenced partially by incentive structures built into the manuscript evaluation system, and change in researcher practices will necessitate a change in the way journal reviewers evaluate manuscripts. This article outlines specific recommendations for reviewers that are designed to facilitate open data reporting and to encourage researchers to disseminate the most generative and replicable studies. These recommendations include changing the way reviewers respond to imperfections in empirical data, focusing less on individual tests of statistical significance and more on meta-analyses, being more open to null findings and failures to replicate previous research, and attending carefully to the theoretical contribution of a manuscript in addition to its methodological rigor. The article also calls for greater training and guidance for reviewers so that they can evaluate research in a manner that encourages open reporting and ultimately strengthens our science. © The Author(s) 2014.
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The current investigation examined the prevalence, predictors and psychological implications of religious and spiritual (r/s) struggles among a sample of Israeli-Jewish university students. R/s struggle was assessed by the Religious and Spiritual Struggles (RSS) Scale (Exline, Pargament, Grubbs, & Yali, 201417. Exline, J. J., Pargament, K. I., Grubbs, J. B., & Yali, A. M. (2014). The Religious and Spiritual Struggles Scale: Development and initial validation. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 6, 208–222. doi:10.1037/a0036465View all references). This is a newly-constructed scale that assesses a wide array of r/s struggles. The RSS is composed of 6 factors of struggles: Divine, Doubt, Demonic, Interpersonal, Moral and Ultimate Meaning. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) of the RSS in this study confirmed this six-factor structure. Of the 164 Jewish participants, between 1.2% and 30.5% experienced various r/s struggles. Beliefs in a cruel God and distant God, religious participation, and fundamentalism predicted higher levels of different types of struggle. All six forms of struggle were correlated with greater psychological distress. In regression equations including r/s struggles as well as demographic and religious variables, Moral struggles predicted lower life satisfaction, Divine struggles predicted depressive symptoms, and both Divine and Doubt struggles predicted generalized anxiety. Possible explanations and implications of the findings are offered. We conclude by pointing to the limitations of the study and suggesting a few directions for future research.
Article
Validity evidence was gathered for the Academic Entitlement Questionnaire (AEQ). After reviewing entitlement literature, items were written to cover the breadth of academic entitlement. Results provide evidence for the substantive, structural, and external aspects of validity of the AEQ. Implications for research and use of the AEQ are discussed.
Article
This study investigated differences in university students’ academic entitlement (AE) by demographic group (sex, college class, college generational status) as well as AE’s relationship with self-efficacy for college coursework and social networking. It also investigated predictors of AE in first-generation (FG) students and continuing-generation (CG) students. Participants were 313 undergraduates at a south-central U.S. university. Males reported significantly greater AE than females. No differences in AE were found by college class or generational status. AE was significantly correlated with college course self-efficacy and social network use. College course self-efficacy, sex, and social network use predicted AE in CG students; however, in FG students, AE was predicted by college course self-efficacy alone. Implications for future research are presented.
Article
In this paper, we examine the relationship between people's actual interpersonal sensitivity (such as their ability to identify deception and to infer intentions and emotions) and their perceptions of their own sensitivity. Like prior scholars, we find the connection is weak or non-existent and that most people overestimate their social judgment and mind-reading skills. Unlike previous work, however, we show new evidence about who misunderstands their sensitivity and why. We find that those who perform the worst in social judgment and mind-reading radically overestimate their relative competence. We also find origins of these self-estimates in general narcissistic tendencies toward self-aggrandizement. We discuss evidence from two studies, one involving the Interpersonal Perception Task (the IPT-15) and another focusing on inferences about partners after a face-to-face negotiation exercise. In both cases, actual performance did not predict self-estimated performance but narcissism did.
Article
The purpose of the current study was to identify factors that predict spiritual struggles. It was hypothesised that factors from religious (e.g., God image, attachment to God, church attitudes, religious history), personal (e.g., neuroticism, pessimism, trait anger), social (e.g., social support, loneliness), and situational (e.g., negative appraisals) domains may predispose people to spiritual struggles during times of distress. Participants (309 undergraduate students) filled out questionnaires measuring relevant constructs and a two-step hierarchical multiple regression equation was generated separately for each of the four domains. Upon identifying significant predictors from each of the four domains, a final hierarchical regression equation revealed that: (1) more negative appraisals of a stressful situation, (2) an insecure ambivalent attachment to God, and (3) neuroticism significantly predicted unique variance in spiritual struggles beyond the effects of relevant religious variables, thus generally supporting the hypothesis that spiritual struggles are complex phenomena that stem from multiple factors.
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This study evaluated the relations between positive religious coping (PRC) and negative religious coping (NRC) strategies and adjustment in 87 children and adolescents (described as “children”) hospitalized for asthma. Children's adjustment during hospitalization and at follow-up was correlated with and regressed onto measures of PRC and NRC. After controlling for relevant variables, religious coping predicted up to 50% of the variance in adjustment measures. Religious coping also significantly predicted adjustment after controlling for established measures of secular coping. PRC did not predict adjustment as hypothesized, other than predicting spiritual growth. NRC predicted poorer adjustment during hospitalization and at follow-up, and an increase in anxiety over time suggesting potential risk to children's adjustment. Although methodological limitations are noted, these initial findings provide a foundation on which to further examine the palliative and potentially harmful effects of children's religious coping.
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Religious coping is very common among individuals with psychosis, however its relevance to symptoms and treatment outcomes remains unclear. We conducted a prospective study in a clinical sample of n=47 psychiatric patients with current/past psychosis receiving partial (day) treatment at McLean Hospital. Subjects completed measures of religious involvement, religious coping and suicidality prior to treatment, and we assessed for psychosis, depression, anxiety and psychological well-being over the course of treatment. Negative religious coping (spiritual struggle) was associated with substantially greater frequency and intensity of suicidal ideation, as well as greater depression, anxiety, and less well-being prior to treatment (accounting for 9.0-46.2% of the variance in these variables). Positive religious coping was associated with significantly greater reductions in depression and anxiety, and increases in well-being over the course of treatment (accounting for 13.7-36.0% of the variance in change scores). Effects remained significant after controlling for significant covariates. Negative religious coping appears to be a risk factor for suicidality and affective symptoms among psychotic patients. Positive religious coping is an important resource to this population, and its utilization appears to be associated with better treatment outcomes.
Article
We used mindset priming techniques to conduct an experimental study (N = 316) designed to assess ideas derived from psychoanalytic theory. Specifically, we investigated the possibility that the unconscious activation of the Oedipal situation would lead people—especially men and individuals who possess narcissistic personality features—to become more prohibitive toward sexual infidelity in romantic relationships. Results supported this hypothesis, which was tested using a new scale of attitudes toward sexual infidelity. Although men and narcissists tend to be more permissive towards sexual infidelity in general, when they are led to identify and empathize with the victim of betrayal, they become as disapproving of extra-dyadic sexual involvement as are women and low narcissists. Correlational evidence indicates that narcissism is positively associated with the likelihood of having affairs, the number of partners cheated on, and (for women but not men) the likelihood of being cheated on. In addition, the (self-reported) occurrence of parental cheating behavior is positively associated with one's eventual likelihood of cheating on others. Among daughters (but not sons), a history of parental cheating is associated with increased narcissism and the likelihood of being cheated on. Potential explanations and clinical implications of our findings are discussed.
Derived and tested a short form of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) for reliability and validity among 1,206 well older adults (aged 65–98 yrs). The 10-item screening questionnaire, the CESD-10, showed good predictive accuracy when compared to the full-length 20-item version of the CES-D. The CESD-10 showed an expected positive correlation with poorer health status scores and a strong negative correlation with positive affect. Retest correlations for the CESD-10 were comparable to those in other studies. The CESD-10 was administered again after 12 mo. Data were based on 80% of the original sample. Scores were stable with strong correlation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Four studies present the validation of a self-report scale capturing academic entitlement, which is defined as the tendency to possess an expectation of academic success without a sense of personal responsibility for achieving that success. The Academic Entitlement scale possesses a 2-factor structure (Study 1); 10 items measure students’ Externalized Responsibility for their academic success, and 5 items measure students’ self-serving Entitled Expectations about professors and course policies. In Study 2, the Externalized Responsibility subscale correlated positively with related measures of entitlement, grandiosity, and narcissism, and it was negatively related to self-esteem, personal control, need for cognition, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. In Study 3, participants rated various responses to academic situations selected by university instructors as highly inappropriate or highly appropriate. The Academic Entitlement scale predicted students’ ratings of the appropriateness of these student behaviors as well as the likelihood that they themselves would engage in these behaviors. In a laboratory setting, individuals with high Academic Entitlement scores evaluated the researcher more negatively than those with low Academic Entitlement scores (Study 4). Practical applications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Perceived relationships with God can be a source of comfort or struggle. To advance the study of spiritual comfort and struggle, we develop the nine-item Attitudes toward God Scale (ATGS-9), and we describe six studies (2,992 total participants) reporting its development and psychometrics. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses identified two factors: (1) Positive Attitudes toward God and (2) Disappointment and Anger with God. Subscale scores showed good estimated internal consistency, 2-week temporal stability, and evidence for construct and discriminant validity. Positive Attitudes toward God correlated with measures of religiosity and conscientiousness. Disappointment and Anger with God correlated with negative religious coping, lower religious participation, more distress, higher neuroticism, and entitlement. These results support the ATGS-9 as a brief measure of attitudes toward God. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Objective: To investigate the protective and consolation models of the relationship between religion and health outcomes in medical rehabilitation patients. Design: Longitudinal study, data collected at admission, discharge, and 4 months postadmission. Measures: Religion measures were public and private religiosity, acceptance, positive and negative religious coping, and spiritual injury. Outcomes were self-report of activities of daily living (ADL), mobility, general health, depression, and life satisfaction. Participants: 96 medical rehabilitation inpatients; diagnoses included joint replacement, amputation, stroke, and other conditions. Results: The protective model of the relationship between religion and health was not supported; only limited support was found for the consolation model. In regression analyses, negative religious coping accounted for significant variance in follow-up ADL (5%) over and above that accounted for by admission ADL, depression, social support, and demographic variables. Subsequent item analysis indicated that anger with God explained more variance (9%) than the full negative religious coping scale. Conclusions: Religion did not promote better recovery or adjustment… (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In the present study, we describe and provide an initial test of a theoretical model of relational spirituality and forgiveness. Christian participants (N = 180) completed measures of attachment to God, religious coping, the degree to which a transgression is viewed as a desecration, and forgiveness. Having an anxious and avoidant attachment to God predicted reduced forgiveness, but this relationship was fully mediated by religious coping and viewing the transgression as more of a desecration. When considering forgiveness, researchers, clinicians, and pastors are encouraged to explore the complex relational aspects of one's spirituality, rather than viewing religiosity or spirituality as a simple, unitary construct. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Excessive entitlement can accompany a range of other problems presented by patients encountered in psychotherapy. In its problematic form it is conceptualized here as having roots in emotional deprivation in childhood, especially when the child was used as a narcissistic extension by parents. This "special" role becomes a learned attitude and behavior and a refuge and defense against the hurt, shame, and fear resulting from this experience. Anger and vindictiveness provoked by this coercion and deprivation can reach dangerous, murderous proportions, with defensive entitlement demanding redress and revenge. A journalistic account illustrative of these unfortunate consequences is provided and interpreted. Psychodynamic treatment of excessive entitlement in an obsessive-compulsive patient, using an object relations approach, is described. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Hypothesis: Religious strain would mediate the relationship between stress symptoms at baseline and stress symptoms 1 year later. Seventy-nine people with a history of stressful life events (55 women, 23 men, one unknown gender, average age 58 years) from community churches reported stressful life events, spiritual adjustment, and posttraumatic stress symptoms at initial assessment and 1-year follow-up. Religious strain mediated the relationship between baseline and follow-up posttraumatic stress symptoms. Because religious distress contributed to prediction of stress symptoms over time, it appears that religious distress is related to adjustment to stressful life events.
Article
Two programs will be described: PRELIS and LISREL 7. PRELIS is a program for multivariate data screening and data summarization and a preprocessor for LISREL. LISREL 7 is an extension of LISREL 6. Among the new features of LISREL 7 is its ability to produce correct asymptotic chisquare goodness-of-fit measures and standard errors of parameter estimates under non-normality and when some or all of the variables are ordinal. This article reviews some of the new features in these programs and discusses in particular the problems associated with the analysis of ordinal variables. The programs can communicate with each other through files written by one program and read by another. For example, a correlation matrix produced by PRELIS can be read by LISREL. Each program has its own functionality, and the reason why it is two programs rather than one, is that it is often a good idea to stop and look at the results from one program before proceeding to run another. The programs provide the tools for checking the assumptions on which the analyses are based. Thus, PRELIS checks assumptions about the data on the observed variables and LISREL checks the reasonableness of the hypothesized relationships in the model.
Article
The existence of depression in children and adolescents is well established, but debate remains about the phenomenology of the depressive syndrome in the young. In order to discover possible age differences in rates and etiology, the definition and measurement of depression must be comparable across the ages to be studied. A widely used self-report depression symptom scale, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale, was administered to convenient (and not necessarily representative) samples of high school and college students. The scores and patterns of responses to the 20 symptom items of the scale were compared with already existing data from junior high school students, from depressed patients, and from a representative community sample of adults and young adults. The results of the analyses suggest that the CES-D Scale is acceptable and reliable in all the groups studied. The scores of the junior high school group may be inflated by an excess of transient symptoms and should be interpreted with caution, but the scale seems to be very suitable for the high school and older groups.