|Institution:||Case Western Reserve University|
|Keywords:||Psychology; Religion; Mental Health; Clinical Psychology; Personal Relationships; Personality; Personality Psychology; Social Psychology; Theology; Religion; Spirituality; God; Psychological Entitlement; Narcissism; Spiritual Struggle; Religious Coping; Divine Entitlement|
|Full text PDF:||http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=case1458817510|
A growing body of research has illustrated the prevalence of religious and spiritual (r/s) struggles among adults in the U.S. In response to this new line of research, there is now a growing interest in examining those factors that might predispose one to experience r/s struggles, One such factor is psychological entitlement, which has emerged as a robust predictor of certain struggles. The present work sought to build upon this finding, examining how spiritual entitlement, a domain specific manifestation of psychological entitlement, predicted a variety of religious and spiritual struggles. Using a large, cross-sectional sample of adults (N = 747), the structure of the Spiritual Entitlement Scale was tested using both confirmatory factor analyses and item response theory, revealing two dimensions of spiritual entitlement. The first dimension—Positive Expectations— reflected an optimistic attitude toward one’s spiritual life and was wholly unrelated to r/s struggle when psychological entitlement was held constant statistically. The second dimension — Maladaptive Spiritual Entitlement— reflected demanding attitudes toward deity and a sense of unmerited deservingness in one’s spiritual life. This second dimension was robustly predictive of r/s struggles with the divine, but not with any other r/s struggles. The implications of these findings are discussed. Advisors/Committee Members: Exline, Julie (Committee Chair).