Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Counseling and Human Development

Degree Program

Counseling and Personnel Services, PhD

Committee Chair

Leach, M. Mark

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Pössel, Patrick

Committee Member

Pössel, Patrick

Committee Member

Woo, Hongryun

Committee Member

Piedmont, Ralph

Author's Keywords

spiritual transcendence; spirituality; five factor model; neighborhood disorder; personal control; generalized trust


Previous research has suggested that Spiritual Transcendence (ST), which is the ability to stand outside one’s own immediate experience, to see unity in nature and to feel connection with the rest of humanity and the spirits, is a universal human experience. Research also suggests that ST may form a sixth personality factor, operating in a manner similar to, but separately from the Big Five personality traits. That is, ST may be a source of intrinsic motivation and influence human behavior and psychosocial outcomes similar to the Big Five. Previous research has established the incremental validity of ST over and above the Big Five in predicting a number of psychosocial outcomes. The current study aims to investigate whether ST can be extracted in a previously untested culture, language and religion, and whether it predicts psychosocial outcomes over and above the Big Five. Additionally, this study seeks to investigate the protective nature of ST from stressful environments. It was hypothesized that ST will moderate the relationship between stressful environment, known as the neighborhood disorder, and the three outcome variables (personal control, generalized trust and psychological well-being) that were shown to be negatively affected by the neighborhood disorder. A sample of 256 Russian adult nationals was obtained using snowball sampling technique. All measures were translated into Russian. Results supported the concept that ST may be a universal human experience, as it was successfully extracted in a new culture, language and religion. ST also predicted one out of three outcomes over and above the Big Five personality factors, offering some support to the notion that ST may be a sixth personality factor. Finally, ST did not moderate the relationship between the neighborhood disorder and the outcomes. Future research exploring ST and its relationship with outcomes and the Big Five in Russia and in other cultures is encouraged. Further implications for research and counseling, and future directions are discussed.