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Development of the Spiritual Transcendence Index

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In response to calls from the scientific community for improved conceptualizations and measures of spirituality, we describe the concept of “spiritual transcendence” and the development of the Spiritual Transcendence Index (STI). Spiritual transcendence refers to a perceived experience of the sacred that affects one’sself–perception, feelings, goals, and ability to transcend one’sdifficulties. The STI is an eight–item measure of this construct developed and refined based on rational considerations, input from three focus groups of religious leaders, and a reciprocal process of empirically testing the item pool and revising it across six successive surveys. The final scale, together with measures of related constructs, was tested in 220 randomly selected community residents. Although further study of the scale is needed, the STI demonstrated high consistency and validity across several samples in these initial exploratory studies.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Rochester, NY 2: Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA 3: University of Rochester, NY 4: University of Rochester, NY 5: Center for Children’sServices, Danville, IL

Publication date: September 1, 2002


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