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ERIC Number: ED546420
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 147
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2676-6111-1
Personal Integrative Spirituality, Relational Christian Spirituality, and College Student Identity Development, with a Focus on Gender Differences
Corry, Lisa M.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
The question explored in this research from the literature is: Regarding college student identity development, what is known about personal integrative spirituality and relational Christian spirituality, with a particular focus on gender differences? Spirituality is included as an aspect of identity development by theorists Erikson, Marcia, Chickering, and Parks. "Personal integrative spirituality" is defined as seeking values and purpose in life through reflection on life questions that are integrated into one's life. Both spiritualities call for reflection and critical thinking, though "relational Christian spirituality" approaches reflection and critical thinking within a context of a relationship with the Christian God. The dissertation focused on identity development theory as articulated by Marcia, who contributed to this theory through the dimensions of exploration and commitment and the Identity Statuses. Empirical research reviewed revealed identity development as an individual journey that varies through amount of exploration and commitment. Gender differences appeared in the expression of close relating, the timing of spiritual development, and problem solving. Personal integrative spirituality was shown to contribute to students' well being and connection to others. Relational Christian spirituality also was shown to contribute to well being while also showing relationship with the Christian God as an intimate experience. The social science research was accompanied by a look at the Christian teachings on identity in the Bible through a study of three key Bible passages. These passages affirmed identity development exploration and commitment while also supplementing theory through the Bible's teaching on union with God and others. When synthesized it is suggested that identity development is enhanced through personal integrative spirituality or through relational Christian spirituality development for females. Educational implications focused on student development staff in public and Christian higher education specifically with female students. Implications encourage those staff to deep relating with students and to advocate for and teach solitude and silence. The unique aspect of these implications rests in teaching and modeling for exploration, an important aspect for female students as they actively participate in identity development. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A