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04.07.2016 | Original Paper

Spiritual Well-Being and Psychological Adjustment: Mediated by Interpersonal Needs?

Journal of Religion and Health
Ashly L. Gaskin-Wasson, Kristin L. Walker, Lilian J. Shin, Nadine J. Kaslow


Spiritual well-being has been shown to reduce suicidal behavior, depressive symptoms, and hopelessness. Thwarted interpersonal needs have been shown to increase risk of suicidal behavior. This paper aims to explore the interrelationships among spiritual well-being, thwarted interpersonal needs, and negative outcomes including suicidal ideation, hopelessness, and depressive symptoms among African American women. Sixty-six African American women (M = 36.18; SD = 11.70), from a larger study of women who had experienced interpersonal violence within the past year, completed self-report questionnaires. Mediation analyses revealed that thwarted belongingness, but not perceived burdensomeness, significantly mediated the relations between spiritual well-being and the three outcomes. This study provides the first examination of the role of thwarted interpersonal needs on the link between spiritual well-being and negative psychological outcomes. Spiritual well-being serves a protective role against feelings of social isolation, which may reduce one’s risk of negative psychological outcomes. Treatments that bolster a sense of spirituality and social connectedness may reduce suicidal ideation, hopelessness, and depressive symptoms.

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