School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)


Frederick Volk


Attachment, Emotional Maturity, Sense of Coherence, Spiritual Maturity, View of Suffering


Counseling Psychology | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychology


Suffering and loss are inevitable parts of the human experience. Nonetheless, the ability to find meaning in various forms of suffering has been shown to impact individual responses to diverse experiences of pain, distress, and loss. Despite the ubiquitous nature of human suffering, perceptions of the cause, purpose, impact, and outcome of experiences of suffering can vary greatly among individuals. Consequently, this inquiry-oriented, descriptive dissertation research examines how emotional maturity, spiritual maturity, and views of suffering mediate the relationship between parental attachment and sense of coherence. This study employs a correlational research design that examines the scores on a variety of relevant measures, using a convenience sample of participants and then multiple regression statistical analysis to examine the relationship between these variables. Data analysis demonstrated that there were direct effects of parental attachment on many of the emotional, spiritual, and suffering mediators, indirect effects on view of suffering through emotional maturity and spiritual maturity, and indirect serially mediated effects on sense of coherence through some of the views of suffering. The various implications of this research in related fields, including parenting, education, religion, counseling, and counseling education/supervision contexts, are explored and future areas of research are proposed.