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Nicole Z. Robertson, Teresa A. Wilkins, Ph.D.

Spirituality and Religiosity as Predictors of Psychological Well-Being for African Americans

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Acknowledging the scarcity of research that explores and defines the influence of spirituality and religiosity on psychological well-being of the African American community, this study sought to demonstrate the incremental validity of spirituality and religiosity on psychological well-being for African Americans, over and above personality traits. The study further ventured to compare the results based on gender and age, determining whether either of these two demographics were moderating factors of spiritual transcendence on satisfaction with life or self-esteem.  The following scales were utilized: ASPIRES (Piedmont, 2004), IPIP-50 (Goldberg, 1999), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS; Diener, Emmons, Larson, & Griffin, 1985), and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE; Rosenberg, 1965).  Participants (N = 69; 63 females and 6 males) included African Americans adults, ranging in age from 25 years old to 70 years old (M = 44.36, SD = 10.56).  The results indicated significant differences between the genders and age groups on traits of extraversion, prayer fulfillment, universality, religious involvement, religious crisis, satisfaction with life, and self-esteem.  However, neither spirituality nor religiosity predicted satisfaction with life or self-esteem over and above personality, possibly due to the small sample size.    Additionally, neither age nor gender moderated the effects of spiritual transcendence on satisfaction with life or self-esteem.  While spirituality and religiosity are important aspects of life for African Americans (Aponte, 2002; Boyd-Franklin, 2010; Mattis, 2002; Reed & Neville, 2004), their impact on satisfaction with life and self-esteem may be indicated by factors beyond the scope of this study. 

Keywords: spirituality, religiosity, African American, satisfaction with life, self esteem


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