Date of Award

1980

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

School of Education

Program

Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

John B. Youngberg

Second Advisor

Robert J. Cruise

Third Advisor

Walter B. Douglas

Abstract

Problem. The development of an authentic Christian lifestyle is commonly accepted as a desirable goal which the church organization seeks to foster. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has accepted the development of the Christian personality within the youth and young adults as one of its goals. The purposeof this study was to investigate the relationship between intrinsic-extrinsic religious motivation and patterns of self-concept for a selected sample of single young adults of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Since earlier studies have postulated negative and positive relationships between religious motivation andthe self-concept, there was a need to know if a significant relationship existed between religious motivation and the self-concept for the single young adults of the Seventh-day Adventist churches on the Caribbean island of Antigua.

Method. Two hundred and fifteen subjects were randomly selected from among the 987 single young adults who were baptized members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Antigua on November 30, 1979. Each subject was asked to complete the Intrinsic-Extrinsic Religiosity Scale, the Tennessee Self ConceptScale, and a demographic data sheet prepared by the researcher. Ninety-two percent (198) of the respondents completed the instruments. Two statistical methods were used in the analysis of the data. The Pearson Product-Moment Correlation was used to test the hypotheses dealing with the relationships between the variables. The Fisher's z-test was used to test the hypotheses dealing with the difference between the correlations of intrinsic religious motivation and the global self-concept for the subject groups.

Results. The analyses of the data yielded significant positive relationships between intrinsic religious motivation and the following: global self-concept (.31, significant at the .001 level), moral-ethical component (.33, significant at the .001 level), personal component (.21, significant at the .01 level), family component (.24, significant at the .001 level), identity dimension (.43, significant at the .001 level), and the behavior dimension (.35, significant at the .001 level).

The data analyses indicated that the groups within the demographic categories of sex, age, education, and previous religious affiliation did not differ significantly on the relationship between intrinsic religious motivation and the global self-concept.

The data analyses yielded significant negative correlations between extrinsic religious motivation and the self-concept variables: global self-concept (-.18, significant at the .05 level), moral-ethical component (-.17, significant at the .05 level), identity dimension (-21, significant at the .01 level), and the behavior dimension (-.16, significant at the .05 level). The correlation coefficients which were less than -.20 did not have appreciable strength.

Conclusions. The findings of the study were supportive of the theoretical hypothesis that the intrinsic forms of personal religion share positive relationships with favorable psychological orientations toward the self. The data partially supported the theoretical assumption that the extrinsic forms of personal religion share a significant negative relationship with favorable psychological orientations toward the self. The correlation between intrinsic religious motivation and the global self-concept showed no significant difference between the groups within the demographic categories: male and female, eighteen to twenty-one and twenty-two to twenty-five age groups; high-school dropouts and high-school graduates; respondents who were nurtured in Adventism and those who were converted to Adventism from other religious faiths.

Subject Area

Self-evaluation, Christian life

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