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Date of Award

4-17-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Jennifer R. Antick, PhD

Second Advisor

Shawn E. Davis, PhD

Abstract

The relationship of presence of chronic illness, importance of spirituality, and religious and/or spiritual identity were examined among young adults in their twenties (N = 226). In addition, the relationship of chronic illness impairment, importance of spirituality, and religious and/or spiritual identity were examined among young adults in their twenties with a chronic physical illness (N = 59). Chronic illness negative young adults (CIN) rated the importance of their spirituality and quality of spiritual life as higher compared with chronic illness positive young adults (CIP). There was no difference between the CIN group and the CIP group in terms of identification with a spiritual and/or religious group; most participants rated themselves as spiritual but not necessarily religious. CIP individuals with low daily functional impairment (CIP(lfi)) rated the importance of their spiritual lives and quality of spiritual life higher compared with CIP individuals with high daily functional impairment (CIP(hfi)). There was no difference within the CIP group in terms of religious and/or spiritual identity. Applications of these results are addressed.

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