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dc.contributor.authorEngelmann, Timothy Charles
dc.identifier.citationSource: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 55-11, Section: B, page: 5065.
dc.description.abstractA group of Roman Catholic subjects (n = 31) who reported having a significant religious experience were compared with a control group (n = 37) on measures of psychiatric symptoms, personality difficulty, religiosity and God representations. Given the association significant religious experiences have with psychiatric impairment, it was predicted that subjects with a religious experience would manifest more psychiatric difficulty than the control group. In addition, it was predicted that these two groups would differ in religiosity and God representations. The first prediction was not supported, as there were no between group differences found on an index of psychiatric symptoms and on a measure of personality difficulty, as assessed by the Symptom Checklist 90-R (Derogatis, 1983) and the Personality Adjective Checklist (Strack, 1991), respectively. Between group differences were found on religiosity, with subjects reporting religious experiences as being significantly more intrinsic, as measured by Allport and Ross's (1967) Religious Orientation Scale (T = {dollar}-{dollar}3.71, (65), p {dollar}<{dollar}.001) and more spiritual, as measured by the Inspirit scale (Kass, Friedman, Leserman, Zuttermiester and Bensen, 1991). Significant differences were also found on scales measuring object representations (Blatt, Chevron, Quinlan and Wein, 1981) that were applied to measuring God representations. Subjects reporting a religious experience had a more developed God representation (F = 30.55, (13,66), p {dollar}<{dollar}.001). Comparisons were also conducted between the God representation and each parent representation. Subjects reporting a religious experience showed a larger difference between the God and mother representation on developmental level, the degree of affectionate involvement shown in each representation and the number of words used to describe them (F = 11.72, (13,66), p {dollar}<{dollar}.001). For differences between the God and father representation, these subjects showed a larger difference only on developmental level and degree of affectionate involvement (F = 7.89, (13,66), p {dollar}<{dollar}.001). Although between group differences were not shown on the psychopathology measures, further analysis revealed that subjects with a religious experience demonstrate psychopathology on the Symptom Checklist 90-R (Derogatis, 1983), if they are extrinsic in religious orientation and represent God as punitive and uninvolved in their lives (F = 15.14, (15, 63), p {dollar}<{dollar}.001). Implications of these results are discussed in terms of criteria for assessing the mental health of religious experiences and in terms of God representation theories (Spero, 1993; Rizzuto, 1979).
dc.publisherProQuest Dissertations & Theses
dc.subjectClinical psychology.
dc.titleReligious experiences: Psychiatric status, religiosity and God images

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