Enhancing spiritual well-being among suicidal African American female survivors of intimate partner violence



Spirituality has been identified as one component of a culturally competent therapeutic intervention for African American women. The present study was designed to investigate the ability of factors, such as level of hopelessness and the use of positive religious coping strategies, to predict spiritual well-being over time. Seventy-four low-income African American women were administered self-report questionnaires measuring hopelessness, use of religious coping strategies, and two domains of spiritual well-being. Path analysis indicated that hopelessness, existential well-being, religious well-being, and positive religious coping are correlated with one another. Further, lower levels of hopelessness predict increases in existential well-being over time; higher levels of positive religious coping predict increases in religious well-being over time. Results were consistent with the study hypotheses and highlight the need to attend to predictors of spiritual well-being when implementing culturally relevant interventions with abused, suicidal African American women. Therapeutic strategies for reducing hopelessness and enhancing positive religious coping to improve spiritual and existential well-being are presented; such strategies will ensure the interventions are more culturally competent. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 63: 909–924, 2007.