Item ID : 4042

Mayseless, O. and Russo-Netzer, P. (2012). The interplay of self-transcendence and psychological maturity among Israeli college students. In: Lerner, R. M., & Warren, A. E. A. (Eds.). Positive youth d

Item ID : 4042

The chapter explores the relationship between spirituality and emotional maturity among Israeli college youth. Psychological-emotional maturation and spiritual development may reflect highly correlated and similar domains, as they may share similar antecedents and may be associated with similar outcomes (such as positive self-image, pro-social values). Four models reflecting these possibilities are suggested:

Independent – shared outcomes

Independent – shared antecedents

Unidirectional dependence – emotional maturity as prerequisite to spiritual development (as suggested by Maslow, as part of the transpersonal psychology theory)

Bidirectional contribution

The study presented provides a first step in examining these four models in a sample of Israeli college students. Participants were 215 college students, between the ages 19-30 years. Measures included emotional maturity and spiritual development, and measures pertaining to four areas: self-perceptions , orientation to others, values, and relational context. The findings show that the two domains of development were found to be associated to a moderate degree. Both domains were significantly and independently associated with the same positive outcomes, such as with moral values and with an empathic and benevolent stance toward others.

The findings do not support the first two models, but in fact seem to be interrelated. Furthermore, the findings do not support the notion that a certain level of maturity is required before spiritual development can be achieved. The findings may also the importance of the community, whether within or outside of religious context, in supporting and promoting spiritual development. As a still consolidating field, more research is needed, in particular to assess the complex interrelations between these two developmental domains.

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