Spiritual Disclosure Between Older Adolescents and Their Mothers

Gina M. Brelsford, Annette Mahoney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the role of spiritual disclosure within older adolescent-mother relationships. Spiritual disclosure is defined as mutual disclosure of personal religious and spiritual beliefs and practices. Three hundred 18- to 20-year-old college students and 130 of their mothers reported on spiritual disclosure in their relationships. According to both parties, greater spiritual disclosure was related to higher relationship satisfaction, greater use of collaborative conflict resolution strategies, less dysfunctional communication patterns, less verbal aggression, and increased general disclosure in mother-adolescent relationships beyond global religiousness and demographics. Spiritual disclosure also predicted unique variance in collaborative conflict resolution strategies beyond these factors and general disclosure. The findings underscore the value of attending to the interpersonal dimension of religion/spirituality. More specifically, the results suggest that spiritual disclosure is an indicator of relationship quality, one that is tied to better relationship functioning, and one that merits further attention in studies of family dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

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