Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Selma A. Chaij

Second Advisor

Roger Dudley

Third Advisor

Derrick Proctor


Problem. This study attempted to explore whether or not traits of personality accounted for differences among Seventh-day Adventists, predicting attitudinal tendencies of either strict or lenient adherence toward traditional church standards.

Methodology. This study utilized the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, Form C for measuring personality variables, and a Likert-type scale which was developed to measure attitudes of adherence to six Adventist church standards within a sample of 447 Seventh-day Adventists. The relationship between the sixteen personality variables and each of the six attitudinal variables toward selected church standards (i.e., diet, dress, entertainment, Sabbath keeping, sexual activities, and divorce and remarriage) were investigated. In addition, the relationship of the sixteen personality variables and general attitude towards church standards according to six moderator variables (i.e., gender, age, education, generation of church membership, duration of church membership, and size of church) were also examined. Both investigations used step-wise regression procedures. Finally, each of the six attitudinal variables were correlated with each of the six moderator variables.

Findings. (1) Attitudes of lenient or strict adherence toward Adventist church standards correlated significantly with personality variables. (2) Attitudes toward Adventist church standards expressed by each demographic subgroup (gender, age, education, duration of church membership, generation of church membership, and size of church) correlated significantly with personality variables. (3) When correlating attitudes toward Adventist church standards with each of the six moderator variables, age produced the highest significant correlation while gender and education produced negligible correlations. (4) Factors G (Conscientious/Expedient), E (Submissive/Dominant), Q1 (Conservative/Experimenting), and F (Serious/Happy-go-lucky) constituted the most reliable personality factors for predicting attitudes toward church standards.

Conclusions. (1) Overall, the attitudes that Seventh-day Adventists expressed concerning the standards of the church were significantly related to personality characteristics. When comparing lenient adherents with strict adherents to Adventist church standards, lenient adherents tended to be more expedient, assertive, experimenting, and happy-go-lucky, while strict adherents tended to be more conscientious, submissive, conservative, and serious. (2) Of all the moderator variables that were correlated with attitudes toward church standards, age emerged as having the greatest relationship. This suggested that the older an Adventist member was, the more likely that he would exhibit an attitude of strict adherence.

Subject Area

Commandments of the church--Seventh-day Adventists.

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