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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Understanding the internal, external, and spiritual factors of stress and depression in clergy serving the southside of Jacksonville, Florida
by Gauger, Robert W., D.Min., Regent University, 2012, 189; 3515319
Abstract (Summary)

Clergy stress has been identified in numerous studies and dissertations, and stress has been linked to depression through the same means. However, the author believes little research has been done linking the internal, external, and spiritual factors in clergy to stress and depression.

The purpose of this dissertation is to answer the question: To what extent can the internal, external, and spiritual factors be identified in contributing to clergy stress and depression? By answering this question, this dissertation could help with the prevention and treatment of depression and stress in clergy.

The dissertation presented had a multifold purpose. The first purpose was to explore depression from the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition (DSM-IV). The second purpose was to identify clergy stressors and stress points in the profession through internal, external, and spiritual factors. The third purpose was to expose the strongest entry point for depression through the internal, external, and spiritual factors.

Testing agents used were the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) to identify depression, a modified Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory to test for personality traits and disorders, and a Stress Evaluation Inventory developed by the author to identify stressors.

The test group involved pastors chosen at random from the Southside of Jacksonville, Florida. Various ages, experience, denominations, and both male and female genders were represented to provide unbiased or skewed results.

The results of the study showed that clergy who held extreme stress and depression scores were the most vulnerable to all three stressors in ministry: internal, external, and spiritual. Clergy who held smaller stress and depression scores showed more random results indicating that other factors may have influenced the results. Of the three stressors, internal, external, and spiritual, spiritual factors held the strongest association with stress and depression.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Flynn, James T.
School: Regent University
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: DAI-B 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clerical studies, Clinical psychology, Occupational psychology, Spirituality
Keywords: Clergy, Depression, Pastors, Stress
Publication Number: 3515319
ISBN: 978-1-267-40605-7
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