The Relationship Between Spirituality and Spiritual/Religious Coping, Goal Attainment, And Change in Symptoms of Adolescents in crisis residence




Smith, Pamela Lin


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Despite the increase of attention in the counseling profession to spirituality, extant literature examining spirituality and adolescent mental health is limited (Powers, 2005; Van Dyke, Glenwick, & Kim, 2009). Few studies were conducted related to the spirituality of adolescents in residential treatment settings (Dew, et al., 2008; Hawke, Hennen, & Gallilone, 2005; Taylor, 2005). In particular, no studies were conducted to determine the relationship between spirituality and goal attainment or symptom change of adolescents in crisis residence. The purpose of the study was to identify the extent to which there is a relationship between spirituality and spiritual/religious coping, change of symptoms, and therapeutic goal attainment of adolescents in crisis residence. A correlational design was used to examine the relationship between spirituality, spiritual and religious coping, goal attainment and symptom change of adolescents in crisis residence. A canonical correlation was conducted. The two sets of variables under investigation were spirituality (as measured by the Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale and Brief Religious and Spiritual Coping Scale) and treatment outcome (as measured by the Goal Attainment Scale of Stabilization and the Target Symptom Rating Scale). The participants in this study were adolescent clients from an acute care psychiatric facility in the southern gulf coast. Male (n = 47) and female (n = 37) adolescent participants ranged in age from 12 years to 17 years. Ethnicity and religious preference of the adolescents were reported. Results of the study indicated that no statistically significant relationship existed between spirituality and treatment outcome for adolescents in crisis residence.
Spirituality may not be an essential component to crisis stabilization of adolescents. Rather, counselors should be aware that spirituality is a uniquely personal construct. Counselors who utilize spiritual principles as the primary tool for stabilization of adolescents may want to rethink their treatment protocols. For adolescent clients in crisis who place much importance on spiritual matters, addressing spirituality in treatment may be beneficial to attaining goals and reducing symptoms. However, adolescent clients who place no importance on spirituality may still achieve the same treatment outcomes in crisis residence. Additional studies that explore individual perceptions of spirituality, investigate the results of infusing spirituality into treatment strategies, and take into account individual diagnosis with this population would be useful.


Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in COUNSELOR EDUCATION Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Texas, August 2014


adolescent spirituality, crisis residence, goal attainment, residential treatment, spirituality, symptom change



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