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The Impact of Financial Health on the Spiritual, Mental, and Relational Health of Christian Graduate Students

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Financial stress is a growing concern for Americans. One population that is particularly susceptible to financial stress and its negative consequences are students enrolled in seminaries many of whom will graduate with large amounts of debt while entering a profession with unique financial challenges that can make repaying student loan debt a daunting task. Prior studies have found that financial stress can lead to poor spiritual, mental, and relational health outcomes. However, research has not yet established that spiritual health is a key part of the mechanism by which financial stress is linked with mental and rela-tional health. The current study involved 189 students from five theological seminaries. Structural equation modeling revealed that spiritual health accounts for some of the negative impact of financial stress on both mental and relational health outcomes. These results suggest that the spiritual health of seminary students represents a salient focal point for potential interventions seeking to improve the holistic health of this population.
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Accepted: 29 August 2022 / Published online: 19 September 2022
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2022
King Tung “Ryan” She
ryan.she@biola.edu
David C. Wang
davidcwang@fuller.edu
Andrea L. Canada
andrea.canada@biola.edu
John M. Poston
john.poston@biola.edu
1 Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University, 13800 Biola Ave, 90639 La Mirada, CA,
USA
2 Fuller Theological Seminary, 180 N. Oakland Ave, 91101 Pasadena, CA, USA
3 Patton State Hospital, 3102 E. Highland Ave, 92369 Patton, CA, USA
The Impact of Financial Health on the Spiritual, Mental, and
Relational Health of Christian Graduate Students
King Tung “Ryan”She1,3 · David C.Wang2· Andrea L.Canada1· John M.Poston1
Pastoral Psychology (2023) 72:85–103
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11089-022-01031-1
Abstract
Financial stress is a growing concern for Americans. One population that is particularly
susceptible to nancial stress and its negative consequences are students enrolled in semi-
naries—many of whom will graduate with large amounts of debt while entering a profes-
sion with unique nancial challenges that can make repaying student loan debt a daunting
task. Prior studies have found that nancial stress can lead to poor spiritual, mental, and
relational health outcomes. However, research has not yet established that spiritual health
is a key part of the mechanism by which nancial stress is linked with mental and rela-
tional health. The current study involved 189 students from ve theological seminaries.
Structural equation modeling revealed that spiritual health accounts for some of the nega-
tive impact of nancial stress on both mental and relational health outcomes. These results
suggest that the spiritual health of seminary students represents a salient focal point for
potential interventions seeking to improve the holistic health of this population.
Keywords Financial health · Spiritual health · Relational health · Mental health ·
Religion
1 3
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