Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


According to the literature, internal, subjective spiritual health may be measured objectively using the construct of spiritual well-being. This study sought to identify the variables which in linear combination would predict the spiritual well-being of retired United States Army chaplains. The participants consisted of a sample of 105 retired United States Army chaplains. The final number of respondents was 71, or 68% of the population. Spiritual Well-Being (SWB), the dependent variable, was the summed total of Religious Well-Being (RWB) and Existential Well-Being (EWB). Ten predictor variables measured demographic, religious, and retirement-related issues. The demographic issues were the number of years retired, the rank held at retirement, marital status, and formal education; the religious issues were religious beliefs, parents' religiousness, and number of minutes per day spent in devotions; and the retirement-related issues were the degree of success in transitioning from military to civilian status, the type of work chosen by chaplains in their retirement, and the degree of satisfaction with their present work. The best linear combination of the 10 independent, predictor variables effecting variance of the dependent variable (SWB scores) was determined through a stepwise selection procedure using the SPSS Subprogram Regression. Using SWB as criterion, a significant equation was developed with conservative religious belief and job satisfaction upon retirement accounting for 14.3% of the variance in SWB. Greater success in adjusting to civilian status accounted for 15.6% of the variance in EWB. The most significant equation with RWB as criterion and religious conservatism combined with the greater number of minutes spent in daily devotions accounted for 17.6% of the variance in RWB. Thus, all three equations have medium effect sizes. The major regression assumptions were generally not violated with only a minimal exception, and that for multicollinearity. Therefore, the study's results were considered valid. The study was a positive step in constructing a predictive model, and some ineffective predictors of SWB were eliminated. This modest exploration of spiritual health in a clergy population may serve as a heuristic tool by future researchers to enhance retirement satisfaction and performance in that profession.

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