Annually, a significant number of clergy burn out, are forced out, or take on the leadership of a congregation that burned out or forced out the previous leader (Beebe, 2007; LaRue, 1996). Previous research has identified congregation types that can lead to conflict (Becker, 1999), congregational characteristics that can lead to congregants' conflict-related exit (Chou, 2008), and the impact of clergy's conflict management style on role termination (Works, 2008), emotional intelligence (Gambill, 2008), and interpersonal conflict (McKown, 2001). The aim of this mixed-method study was to determine (a) if correlations exist among five conflict management styles as exhibited by clergy and the constructs of life satisfaction and religious commitment, (b) if there are negative relationships between clergy who exhibit an avoidant conflict management style and their life satisfaction and religious commitment, and (c) if interviews with clergy who experience congregational conflict will suggest themes that potentially predict conflict between clergy and congregations. North American, Protestant clergy were solicited as the study population (N = 48) with a subsample participating (n = 9) in the qualitative interview. Five hypotheses were developed and investigated. Hypothesis 1 investigated the relationship between clergy's conflict management style and their life satisfaction and could not be supported. Hypothesis 2 investigated the relationship between clergy's conflict management style and their religious commitment and was partially supported. Hypothesis 3 investigated whether clergy who exhibit the avoidant conflict management style will experience lower levels of life satisfaction than clergy who exhibit other styles and was partially supported. Hypothesis 4 investigated whether clergy who exhibit the avoidant conflict style will experience lower levels of religious commitment than clergy who exhibit other styles and could not be supported. Hypothesis 5 investigated whether themes would emerge during interviews with clergy that might act as predictors for future congregational conflict and was supported.
|Commitee:||Agee, James, Stride, Steve|
|School:||Trevecca Nazarene University|
|Department:||Clinical Counseling: Teaching and Supervision|
|School Location:||United States -- Tennessee|
|Source:||DAI-B 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religion, Psychology, Spirituality|
|Keywords:||Clergy, Conflict management, Congregations, Life satisfaction, Pastors, Religious commitment|
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