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Are Maturity and Spiritual Development Separate?

Are Maturity and Spiritual Development Separate Domains?A new study discovers established spirituality is not always associated with psychological maturity. In fact, a person can reach a high level of spiritual development without being emotionally and psychologically mature.

According to Prof. Ofra Mayseless, dean of the faculty of education at the University of Haifa, psychological maturity is defined as the capacity to control impulses and acceptance of responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions.

This study, a first in its field, examined the interplay between the two developmental domains. It addressed a central conceptual question: If these developmental domains are related, how do they converge and mutually interact?

For example, is a certain level of emotional maturity required before an individual develops to be highly spiritual?

What might be the ramifications of having transcendental experiences when an individual is not emotionally mature?

A sample group of 215 college students aged 19-30 revealed that the two developmental domains (psychological maturity and spiritual development) were moderately correlated, yet that each seemed to have different antecedents (e.g., social support and having firm ethnic identity was especially significant for achieving spiritual development).

Prof. Mayseless added that the findings also confirmed a link between psychological and spiritual maturity and an individual’s set of values. This raised the question of whether both developmental domains contribute to the development of a particular attribute or whether only one domain alone contributes to that attribute.

“For example,” Prof. Mayseless explained, “psychological maturity can contribute to a person’s level of generosity, while spiritual development may not add unique contribution after taking into account the person’s psychological maturity.

“However, this was not the case. This study has shown that both psychological maturity and being spiritually developed each contributes to an individual’s generosity and pro-social actions, independently.”

“The truth is, that I wanted to find that an individual reaching both types of maturity has an added value; that someone who is both psychologically and spiritually developed would demonstrate a higher set of values, such as generosity, endurance, pluralism. But this was not what we found,” Prof. Mayseless said.

“While this study has shown that each developmental domain contributes independently of the other, the contribution that each makes to a particular attribute are similar. There is probably some connection between them, but this might only be identified by a longitudinal study where we would follow individuals for some time to learn about changes in each domain,” concluded Prof. Mayseless.

Source: University of Haifa

Are Maturity and Spiritual Development Separate?

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Are Maturity and Spiritual Development Separate?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 21, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/03/16/are-maturity-and-spiritual-development-separate-domains/12163.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.