The relationship between spiritual health, spiritual dissonance and positive mental health

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Title: The relationship between spiritual health, spiritual dissonance and positive mental health
Authors: Daigle, Julie
Date: 2019-05-02
Abstract: In his doctoral work, Fisher (1998) developed a definition of spiritual health inspired by positive psychology. He described four domains of spiritual health, namely the personal, communal, environmental, and transcendental domains. He then defined spiritual health as “a fundamental dimension of people’s overall health and well-being, permeating and integrating all the other dimensions of health (i.e., physical, mental, emotional, social and vocational)” (Fisher, 1998, p. 191). Although most of the scientific literature has found that religion and spirituality are negatively correlated to mental illness, the relationship between spiritual health, proposed by Fisher’s four domain model, and mental health has yet to be explored. Furthermore, in later writings, Fisher introduced the novel concept of spiritual dissonance which he defines as the difference between one’s actual spiritual lived-experience and one’s spiritual ideals. His model theoretically implies that spiritual dissonance would have a similar relationship to mental health as spiritual health; however, to this author’s knowledge, this has yet to be tested (Fisher, 2008). Mental health, as defined by Keyes, is not the mere absence of disease, but optimal emotional, psychological, and social functioning (Keyes, 2006b, 2007). Those three dimensions of positive mental health resemble the three dimensions that Fisher believes would be permeated by spiritual health and spiritual dissonance. The present thesis explored the relationship between spiritual health, spiritual dissonance, mental illness, and positive mental health in a convenient sample of undergraduate students from a Canadian university. The findings suggest that mental health is positively correlated to spiritual health (r = .40, p < .001) and negatively correlated to spiritual dissonance (r = -.39, p < .001). Furthermore, even though 22% of mental health variance was accounted for by psychological distress, an additional 13 % of variance was accounted for by spiritual health or 8% of variance by spiritual dissonance. Both spiritual health and spiritual dissonance were significantly related to mental health and significant predictors of mental health.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/39132
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-23380
CollectionThèses Saint-Paul // Saint Paul Theses
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