Spiritual turning points and perceived control over the life course.


Journal Article

Recent evidence indicates that spirituality and religion are associated with both physical and psychological health. Because a belief that rewards are largely determined by external forces tends to be detrimental to mental health, the idea that God can be equated with such an external force seems contradictory to the proven benefits of religion and spirituality. The purpose of this article is to examine changes in perceived control in the context of spiritual turning points as uncovered in the narrative histories of 30 elderly people. We propose that for many people who derive benefits from religion or spirituality, God may act as a mediator, in the sense that trusting in God provides personal control. In addition to creating a model of God-mediated control, the study's findings suggest a relationship between recall for type of control during a spiritual turning point and the interpretation of that turning point in late life.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Fiori, KL; Hays, JC; Meador, KG

Published Date

  • 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 59 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 391 - 420

PubMed ID

  • 15612200

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15612200

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0091-4150

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2190/KBXL-18W0-FPJ4-F1GY


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States