The relationship between relatedness to God and a commitment to self improvement and moral helpfulness
Klein Poupko, Shoshana
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While many individuals have bettered themselves as a result of religious teachings and laws, others have not been positively influenced. This study explored this phenomenon by looking at whether religious adolescents who have a relationship with God characterized by relatedness, were also committed to self improvement and moral helpfulness. The sample consisted of 220 high school seniors, 134 males and 86 females. The study's measures included: Jewish Beliefs and Actions (JewBale), Family Environmental Scale, Social Support Questionnaire, and the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale. The results showed positive correlations between having a relationship with God characterized by relatedness and a commitment to self improvement and moral helpfulness. Multiple regression analyses showed that having a relationship with God characterized by relatedness predicted high levels of commitment to self improvement and moral helpfulness, above other known correlates. The correlate of family cohesion was as strong a predictor of moral helpfulness as relatedness to God. There were no significant differences for males versus females. The results of this study underscore the potential positive impact of a religious commitment on both intrapersonal as well as interpersonal development.