ArticleLiterature Review

Religion and Spirituality

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Abstract

Religion and spirituality (R/S) have been influential in societies' history, daily life, and identity in the past and in today's society. From a sociological perspective, R/S contributes to family development and organization, influences culture, and often contributes to forming opinions, beliefs, and concepts about oneself, family, society, and the world. In addition, R/S help shape individuals, families, and communities' ethical and moral understanding, thus influencing their behavior. This review article aims to provide the clinician with tools to understand, assess, and provide interventions that consider the patients' and their families' R/S. A recent review of the topic focused on general aspects of the R/S but we are unaware of reviews that integrate attachment, moral foundation theory, and forgiveness. This review will integrate these additional features into our understanding of the role of R/S in the delivery of mental health.

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Article
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Article
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Chapter
Where does morality come from? Why are moral judgments often so similar across cultures, yet sometimes so variable? Is morality one thing, or many? Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) was created to answer these questions. In this chapter, we describe the origins, assumptions, and current conceptualization of the theory and detail the empirical findings that MFT has made possible, both within social psychology and beyond. Looking toward the future, we embrace several critiques of the theory and specify five criteria for determining what should be considered a foundation of human morality. Finally, we suggest a variety of future directions for MFT and moral psychology.
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Article
This essay explores the current and historical meaning of forgiveness in Arab and Islamic cultural and religious contexts. It also hopes to encourage further empirical research on this understudied topic in both religious and peacebuilding studies. In addition to the perceived meaning of forgiveness in an Arab Islamic context, this essay examines the links between forgiveness and reconciliation. Relying on religious sources including the Qur'an and Hadith, as well as certain events in Islamic history, the essay identifies various ways to conceptualize and explain the meaning of forgiveness. This theoretical and conceptual segment is followed by a section which explores current perceptions of forgiveness among Arab Muslim teachers in five different communities. The empirical data for this analysis is based on a larger comparative regional study that has been completed through surveys and structured interviews with educators from Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Palestinians from the West Bank and Israel. Our study concluded that the teachers' perceptions of forgiveness were mainly derived from religious sources and identities and that Islamic religious discourse provided a solid foundation for framing the meaning of forgiveness.
Article
In this meta‐analysis, 9 published studies (N = 330) that investigated the efficacy of forgiveness interventions within counseling were examined. After a review of theories of forgiveness, it was discovered that the studies could logically be grouped into 3 categories: decision‐based, process‐based group, and process‐based individual interventions. When compared with control groups, for measures of forgiveness and other emotional health measures, the decision‐based interventions showed no effect, the process‐based group interventions showed significant effects, and the process‐based individual interventions showed large effects. Consequently, effectiveness has been shown for use of forgiveness in clinical and other settings.
Article
We investigated an intervention designed to help female aggressive victims improve their levels of psychological and school adjustment. Adolescent aggressive victims are youth who demonstrate heightened levels of aggressive behavior and are frequently victimized by others. A program focused on the psychology of forgiveness was implemented and tested against both an alternative skillstreaming program and a no-treatment control group. Forty-eight female adolescent aggressive victims in South Korea (age 12 to 21 years) were recruited from a middle school and a juvenile correctional facility. Participants were randomly assigned to groups. Both forgiveness and skillstreaming interventions were implemented in a small-group format for 12 weeks. Participants in the forgiveness group reported significant decreases in anger, hostile attribution, aggression, and delinquency at post-test and follow-up; they also reported significant increases in empathy at post-test and follow-up and grades at post-test. We discuss implications for the psychological development of adolescent aggressive victims.
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Spirituality and religion are important but often neglected areas of clinical exploration. In recent years there has been some growth in traumatic studies' literature with regard to religion and spirituality in the provision of mental health services. However, while these studies demonstrate the importance of religious and spiritually competent care, much of the research involved refers to adults and has less emphasis on how children and adolescents utilize these constructs. In particular, a review of the literature reveals a limited body of research that explores how children apply religion and spirituality when coping with traumatic events. This literature review aims to contribute to the existing knowledge base by exploring the role of religion and spirituality in the lives of children and adolescents who have been, or are currently subjected to traumatic experience. It aims to delineate ways to incorporate and acknowledge the religion and spirituality of children and adolescents who are trauma survivors in treatment.
Article
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Forgiveness education has demonstrated psychological, social and academic benefits; however, it has not been discussed as a means of promoting character development for children and adolescents. In this paper, we discuss forgiveness as a moral concept and explain how forgiveness can contribute to current discussions of character education. After reviewing relevant literature we describe how a forgiveness programme can be an effective form of character education and attempt to clarify the contributions the forgiveness literature can make to the field of character education. We argue that forgiveness provides those interested in character development with a programme that can enhance educational initiatives and advance the character education research agenda.
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Article
The REACH Forgiveness intervention has been used in psychoeducational groups, couple and individual counseling and psychotherapy, and workbooks. It has been investigated in over 20 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) worldwide. It has been accommodated to treat Christians and shown to be effective in RCTs. But most research has established it to be effective when not accommodating it to religious or spiritual clientele. In this article, we will claim that it can be accommodated to a variety of religious clients. We describe guidelines about what is essential to the treatment and what might be effectively modified to be acceptable to religious and spiritual clients embracing a variety of beliefs and practices.
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The view of humans as violent war-prone apes is poorly supported by archaeological evidence and only partly supported by the behavior of our closest primate relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos. Whereas the first species is marked by xenophobia, the second is relatively peaceful and highly empathic in both behavior and brain organization. Animal empathy is best regarded as a multilayered phenomenon, built around motor mirroring and shared neural representations at basal levels, that develops into more advanced cognitive perspective-taking in large-brained species. As indicated by both observational and experimental studies on our closest relatives, empathy may be the main motivator of prosocial behavior.
Article
The objective of this article is to determine the convergent/divergent validity of the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality (BMMRS; Fetzer Institute & National Institute on Aging Working Group 1999) subscales by correlating it with the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) Self-Transcendence subscales (i.e., Mysticism, Transpersonal Identification, Self-Forgetfulness; Cloninger et al. 1994). The cross-sectional analysis of 97 undergraduate/graduate students from a Midwestern university was made. The results are (1) all five BMMRS spirituality subscales were significantly correlated with the TCI Mysticism scale; (2) two BMMRS scales (i.e., Daily Spiritual Experiences, Values/Beliefs) were significantly correlated with the TCI Transpersonal Identification scales; (3) no BMMRS spiritual subscales were significantly correlated with the TCI Self-Forgetfulness scale; and (4) of the BMMRS religion scales, only the Organizational Religiousness subscale was correlated with any TCI subscale (i.e., Mysticism). The BMMRS appears to have adequate convergent/divergent validity, although the need exists to determine specific dimensions of spirituality. Inspection of the specific items of the BMMRS and TCI spiritual subscales that were most consistently correlated (i.e., BMMRS Daily Spiritual Experiences, Values/Beliefs; TCI Mysticism, Transpersonal Identification) suggests the existence of a distinct spiritual construct that is best conceptualized as the experience of emotional connectedness to the divine, nature, and/or others.
the role of family acceptance as a protective factor for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adolescents and young adults has not been established. a quantitative measure with items derived from prior qualitative work retrospectively assessed family accepting behaviors in response to LGBT adolescents' sexual orientation and gender expression and their relationship to mental health, substance abuse, and sexual risk in young adults (N= 245). family acceptance predicts greater self-esteem, social support, and general health status; it also protects against depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation and behaviors. family acceptance of LGBT adolescents is associated with positive young adult mental and physical health. Interventions that promote parental and caregiver acceptance of LGBT adolescents are needed to reduce health disparities.
Article
We examined specific family rejecting reactions to sexual orientation and gender expression during adolescence as predictors of current health problems in a sample of lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults. On the basis of previously collected in-depth interviews, we developed quantitative scales to assess retrospectively in young adults the frequency of parental and caregiver reactions to a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation during adolescence. Our survey instrument also included measures of 9 negative health indicators, including mental health, substance abuse, and sexual risk. The survey was administered to a sample of 224 white and Latino self-identified lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults, aged 21 to 25, recruited through diverse venues and organizations. Participants completed self-report questionnaires by using either computer-assisted or pencil-and-paper surveys. Higher rates of family rejection were significantly associated with poorer health outcomes. On the basis of odds ratios, lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4 times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection. Latino men reported the highest number of negative family reactions to their sexual orientation in adolescence. This study establishes a clear link between specific parental and caregiver rejecting behaviors and negative health problems in young lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults. Providers who serve this population should assess and help educate families about the impact of rejecting behaviors. Counseling families, providing anticipatory guidance, and referring families for counseling and support can help make a critical difference in helping decrease risk and increasing well-being for lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth.
Article
This article introduces the interface between child and adolescent psychiatry and religion and spirituality. Developmental psychopathology has become increasingly diverse in its study of risk and protective factors for child and adolescent psychopathology. The effect of religion and spirituality on clinical conditions is among those factors. This review addresses (1) historical aspects of the relationship between psychiatry and religion/spirituality, (2) definitional issues, and (3) unique factors in child and adolescent work. Considering these factors and some general principles of intervention, it prepares the reader for other articles in this issue. The article concludes with some observations on the "secular family".
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine spirituality as a meaningful construct in adolescents' lives, and to examine the contribution of spirituality above and beyond that of religiosity to depressive symptoms and health-risk behaviors. A total of 134 adolescents from a suburban high school completed a questionnaire assessing spirituality, religiosity, depressive symptoms, and health-risk behaviors. Spirituality was measured with 2 subscales: (1) religious well-being ("I believe that God loves/cares about me") and (2) existential well-being ("Life doesn't have much meaning"). Religiosity was assessed via belief in God/Higher Power and importance of religion. The Children's Depression Inventory-Short Form and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) were used to assess depressive symptoms and health-risk behaviors. The majority of the sample was Caucasian, with a mean age of 16.2 years. Eighty-nine percent reported a belief in God/Higher Power and 77% stated that religion was important in their lives. After controlling for demographics and religiosity, existential well-being and religious well-being accounted for an additional 29% of the variability in depressive symptoms and 17% of the variability in risk behaviors. Existential well-being was the only predictor significant in both final models (p < .01). Most of these adolescents reported some connection with religious and spiritual concepts, and those with higher levels of spiritual well-being, in particular, existential well-being, had fewer depressive symptoms and fewer risk-taking behaviors. This supports the inclusion of these concepts in our efforts to help promote resilience and healthy adolescent development, and in expanding our investigations beyond religious identification or attendance at religious services to broader concepts of spirituality.
Article
This study examines in a preliminary manner the relationship between multiple facets of religion/spirituality and depression in treatment-seeking adolescents. One hundred seventeen psychiatric outpatients aged 12 to 18 completed the brief multidimensional measure of religiousness/spirituality, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), a substance abuse inventory. Controlling for substance abuse and demographic variables, depression was related to feeling abandoned or punished by God (p < 0.0001), feeling unsupported by one's religious community (p = 0.0158), and lack of forgiveness (p < 0.001). These preliminary results suggest that clinicians should assess religious beliefs and perceptions of support from the religious community as factors intertwined with the experience of depression, and consider the most appropriate ways of addressing these factors that are sensitive to adolescents' and families' religious values and beliefs.
Religion and spirituality: a family systems perspective in clinical practice
  • Walsh
Espiritualidad salud y bienestar: su importancia en la calidad de vida
  • Quintero
Religion (fenomelogia y ciencias de las religiones)
  • Velasco
Spirituality/religion as a healing pathway for survivors of sexual violence
  • Dale