Spirituality in LGBTQ Individuals
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The numinous motivations of infinitude, worthiness, and meaning are psychological conceptualizations of spirituality (R. L. Piedmont, personal communication, June 6, 2016). The prime assumption of the numinous is that spirituality is a set of innate universal human motivations that drive, direct, and select behavior. Utilizing the Assessment of Spirituality and Religious Sentiments (ASPIRES) scale and the Numinous Motivations Inventory (NMI), this study examined the generalizability of the psychometric properties of scores from the ASPIRES and NMI, aspects of spirituality that can act as protective factors for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals, and differences between groups (Gay Men, Lesbians, and Bisexuals/Pansexuals). Data was retained and analyzed from 238 individuals across the United States and ranging from 18 to 69 years of age, with a mean age of 32.27. The sample consisted of females (N=105), males (N=111), and transgender and non-binary individuals, which includes participants that identified as gender queer, gender non-conforming, or gender fluid (N=22). Over half of the sample was Caucasian (N=169) and 47.9% of the participants identified as Atheist or Agnostic. For analyses purposes, the participants were divided into three groups: Gay Men (N=84), Lesbians (N=64), and Bisexual/Pansexuals (N=90). In addition to demographic information, participants completed a battery of tests to obtain information on personality, spirituality, internalized homophobia, trauma, resiliency, self-compassion, psychological well-being, and satisfaction. Although there were mean level differences between the normative data and all groups on Religious Involvement and Religious Crisis, with significant factor congruencies ranging from .63 to .96 for the ASPIRES and .45 to .97 for the NMI, it was determined that both factor structures were able to be recovered with in this sample. The results also indicate that spirituality adds predictive ability for all groups with worthiness acting as a main predictor for both Gay Men and Bisexual/Pansexuals; whereas, for Lesbians, predictors differ depending on outcome variable.
Keywords: Spirituality, Numinous, Assessment of Spirituality and Religious Sentiments (ASPIRES) scale, Numinous Motivations Inventory (NMI), LGBTQ