Spirituality and distress in sheltered battered women.
PURPOSE:To examine the relationship between spiritual beliefs and psychological distress in sheltered battered women. DESIGN:A convenience sample of 50 ethnically diverse women who had resided for at least 21 days in battered women's shelters participated. Data were obtained over a 7-month period in 1998 and 1999. METHODS:Participants completed the Spiritual Perspective Scale (SPS), Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90), Conflict Tactics Scale, and a demographic data sheet. RESULTS:These sheltered battered women placed high value on their spiritual beliefs and used a variety of spiritual practices to aid them. The relationship between the Global Severity Index as measured by the SCL-90 and SPS scores approached statistical significance (r = -.27, p = .06). However, a significant inverse relationship was found between the SPS score and the obsessive-compulsive score (r = -.34, p < .05), interpersonal sensitivity score (r = -.31, p < .05), and hostility dimensions score (r = -.37, p < .01) of the SCL-90. CONCLUSIONS:The findings indicated that, among these sheltered battered women, spirituality may be associated with greater internal resources that buffer distressing feelings and calm the mind. This study shows support of spirituality as a means of reducing distress through greater connection to oneself and higher powers.
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