Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services

First Advisor

Cindy Juntunen


Problem: The positive relationship between spirituality and physical, psychological, and social well-being has been well established. However, beyond quality of life measures, this construct has yet to be more deeply studied in a sample of individuals diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Furthermore, relational spirituality has yet to be studied in a chronically ill population. Meeting these gaps in the literature, this study compared the explicit domains and latent constructs measured by a relational spirituality instrument and examined their associations with a measure of biopsychosocial-spiritual well-being and quality of life measure.

Results: Utilizing nonrandom online surveys, this study included 305 participants, with 85 reporting a SLE diagnosis. Results indicated the BioPPSI did not maintain its original factor structure, with the psychological and spiritual items loading onto one domain. The SLE sample reported lower levels of physical well-being and higher levels of secured attachment to God. However, ATG style was only significantly related to LQoL emotional health, as those with more secured attachment reported high emotional health.

Implications: This study highlights the need to further develop the BioPPSI and to better understand the relationship of relational spirituality for those with a chronic illness. Furthermore, the study emphasizes the need to better understand the needs of individuals with SLE and methods of intervention.