A Mixed Method Exploration of Unusual Spiritual and Religious Experiences of Women Immigrated From an Indian Culture to the United States

Vakil, Goolrukh Adi (2012) A Mixed Method Exploration of Unusual Spiritual and Religious Experiences of Women Immigrated From an Indian Culture to the United States. Doctoral thesis, Sofia University. A Mixed Method Exploration of Unusual Spiritual and Religious Experiences of Women Immigrated From an Indian Culture to the United States.

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Abstract

Mixed method under feminist ideology explored the Unusual Spiritual and Religious Experiences (USRE) of 30 adult women immigrants, ages 24-93 (average 47), in the Bay Area of California, from an Indian culture, shifting in focus from thephenomenon of Spontaneous Spirit Possession (SSP). Narratives were analyzed by grounded theory, psychological test scores were correlated, and the data triangulated by the Classification and Regression Tree(CART). Seven themes emerged from the narrativesfrom which 3 phenomena, Connection with the Divine, Ritual, and Ambivalence formed the backbone of a theory. Twenty (65%) women reported USRE, 9 of which were conceptualized as SSP-like due to its defining feature of trance. Results suggested that USRE had religious roots, correlating with religiosity, r(28) = .40, p < .05—only religious women, with high conventional spirituality scores, reported USRE. USRE could also be associated with trauma—83-100% of women who reported USRE also reported having experienced trauma and all reports of USRE were associated with low stress-related spirituality. Theme “Transformation” suggested that women first turned to religion or spirituality, habitually or when traumatized, and the practice triggered USRE; trauma was not implicated as a direct trigger. Ahealing role for USRE was thus, proposed. Data integration gave 3unexpected results: (a) level of education primarily divided the women—less-educated women, all of who had USRE, had very low stress and dissociation, and more-educated women hadvery high dissociation in cases of reported USRE; (b) less-educated, religious women grouped with more-educated, nonreligious women who meditated and did social work; and (c) more-educated women who were ambivalent in their religiousviews had high sociostress andconcomitant weak or no USRE. A new typology of USRE dependant on cultural factors and vis-à-vis the variables studied herein would be of clinical benefit in understanding the subjectivity of such women immigrants.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Psychology > Psychology of Women
Psychology > Transpersonal Psychology
Programs: Psychology
Depositing User: Goolrukh Vakil
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2019 22:07
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 17:53
URI: http://scholarship.meridianuniversity.edu/id/eprint/159

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