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The Sacred Self: A Study of Sanctification of the Self in College Students and its Implications for Self-Functioning

by Ethan R. Benore
Bowling Green State University


In this study, the theory of sanctification was applied to the construct of the self. It was hypothesized that individuals who perceive themselves as possessing spiritual character or significance would also report positive self-functioning. Two hundred nineteen students enrolled in an Introductory Psychology Course were administered a survey assessing demographic information, religious and spiritual functioning (including sanctification of the self), and self-functioning. Bivariate correlation results supported sanctification of the self as a valid religious construct, related to established religious measures. Sanctification of the self was related to several measures of positive self-functioning in a small but significant manner, offering some support to the theory of sanctification. However, sanctification of the self did not add unique variance to the prediction of any self criteria in the expected direction, suggesting that this construct does not, by itself, function effectively as a proximal religious predictor in a college population. Post hoc analyses identified potential moderators to the prediction of self functioning by sanctification measures. The discussion section identifies possible limitations to this study and proposes directions for future research.

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