Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


Community and social organizations play an important role in developing social responsibility. Religious groups comprise a considerable number of community and social organizations that attempt to foster pro-social behavior. While religion has been proposed to have both a negative and positive influence on social responsibility, spirituality has been largely overlooked. This study between spirituality and social responsibility explores the assumption of a positive correlation. Data were collected from undergraduate students (N = 136) at two Pacific Northwest Universities by a number of scales measuring social responsibility, religiosity, spirituality, and demographic information. The Social Responsibility Scale (Starrett, 1996) was administered and scored to include Starrett's original subscales and the alternate subscales proposed by Bufford, Gordon, Hansen, and Campbell (2004). The religious and spiritual measures included the Religious Orientation Scale (Feagin, 1964; Allport & Ross, 1967) and Quest (Batson & Schoenrade, 1991 ). Results indicated a significant difference in spiritual preference, religious affiliation, and form of social responsibility for the two groups. The religiously affiliated Spirituality and Social Responsibility iv university students (N = 65) were intrinsically spiritually oriented and approached social responsibility from a perspective of benefiting those in their immediate environment and the belief that others were intrinsically socially responsible. The non-religiously affiliated university students (N = 71) were extrinsically spiritually oriented and viewed social responsibility from a global perspective favoring institutional involvement in social responsibility. Suggestions for further research would be to better identify the types of spirituality, especially in relationship to an intrinsic and extrinsic view of spirituality. It would also be beneficial to examine these terms in light of an internal or external locus of control. This study suggests that the way in which an individual is oriented spiritually is correlated to the individual's view of social responsibility, with an intrinsic system focuses more on the immediate environment while an extrinsic system is more global in nature.

Included in

Psychology Commons