Predictors of growth from spiritual struggle among Christian undergraduates: Religious coping and perceptions of helpful action by God are both important
Rosemead School of Psychology
Can people grow from religious/spiritual struggles? This project assessed religious beliefs and responses to a specific struggle among Christian U.S. undergraduates through an Internet survey (N = 454; 66% female). Most religious variables correlated positively with growth (spiritual and posttraumatic growth). Structural equation modeling identified two direct, proximal predictors of growth, both of which were specific to the struggle situation: positive religious coping (i.e. attempts to engage with God), and perceptions that God was initiating helpful action (i.e. communication or direct intervention; provision of encouragement, love or comfort). In terms of background factors, religious engagement, benevolent theodicies and positive relationships with God all predicted growth indirectly, through the above pathways. These findings suggest that among Christians, growth from struggle often reflects two sides of a perceived relationship with God: Perceived growth is related not only to actions people initiate themselves but also to actions they see as divinely initiated.
Posttraumatic growth; Spiritual formation
The Journal of Positive Psychology
DOI of Published Version
Hall, Todd W., "Predictors of growth from spiritual struggle among Christian undergraduates: Religious coping and perceptions of helpful action by God are both important" (2016). Faculty Articles & Research. 528.