Spiritual formation in women: A theoretical examination of Christian spirituality and self-concept
Carlin, Barbara Dekmar
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This thesis reviewed literature exploring the factors contributing to spirituality and their effects on the development of self-concept in girls and women. Self-esteem, self-concept, and self-image, although closely related, were distinct constituents of mental health. Although religiousness and spirituality appeared to describe different concepts, they also were not fully independent. Christian spiritual formation was identified by the practice of spiritual disciplines and acts of faith with others. Spiritual and religious involvement were consistently and positively related to health and inversely related to disorders. However, there was inadequate conceptualization of Christian spirituality in the literature as an explanation effecting self-concept. Review of the evidence indicated that continued research is needed regarding the integration of spiritual disciplines as predictors for a distinct spiritual formation in women. Further research may provide evidence that healthy self-concept in women increases as a function of Christian spiritual formation.
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