Whose Spirituality? Investigating Modes of Self-Construal in Spirituality Measures Through Content Analysis
Cross-referencing the construct of spirituality with developing understandings of self-construal (Brewer & Chen, 2007; Brewer & Gardner, 1996), the present study uses latent content analysis to categorize over 400 items drawn from measures of spirituality in order to answer a central question: Has the construct of spirituality been historically represented in experimental study as a more individual, relational, or collective phenomenon? Three raters were trained to independently and blindly categorize encountered items from popular spirituality measures into 1 of 4 groups based on the self-construal categories delineated by Brewer and Gardner (1996): individualistic (I), relational (R), collective (C), or other (X). After completing 3 pilot content analyses, each aiming to ensure interrater agreement, a primary content analysis was conducted on 405 items that were categorized as I, R, C, or X by each independent rater. Results suggest that items involved in these spirituality measures are overwhelmingly individualistic (71.8%) and only secondarily relational (14.8%). Only 9.9% of the items were rated as collective and a remaining 3.5% were categorized in the category reserved for items not apparently fitting into a self-construal category (X). Interrater agreement was measured using Fleiss’ kappa, which yielded a rating of .73. This is generally considered good to excellent agreement (Neuendorff, 2002). Changes in self-construal representation among items from spirituality measures published at different historical times are also assessed, self-construal representations for each analyzed measure, and implications for further cross-cultural and experimentally consistent research are explored.
PSYD in Clinical Psychology
Spirituality, Psychology, Self-perception
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