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An Assessment of Existential Worldview Function among Young Women at Risk for Depression and Anxiety—A Multi-Method Study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, The Social Sciences of Religion, Psychology of Religions. (Impact Research Programme)
Stockholm University, Centre for Health Equity Studies; Stockholm University,Department of Women’s and Children’s Health; Stockholm University, Department of Psychology; Karolinska Institutet.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, The Social Sciences of Religion, Psychology of Religions. Innlandet Hospital Trust, Public Mental Health Promotion Clinical Research; Umeå University, Institution for Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Public Mental Health. (Impact Research Programme)
2017 (English)In: Archive for the Psychology of Religion/ Archiv für Religionspsychologie, ISSN 0084-6724, E-ISSN 1573-6121, Vol. 39, no 2, p. 165-203Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Increasing rates of psychiatric problems like depression and anxiety among Swedish youth, predominantly among females, are considered a serious public mental health concern. Multiple studies confirm that psychological as well as existential vulnerability manifest in different ways for youths in Sweden. This multi-method study aimed at assessing existential worldview function by three factors: 1) existential worldview, 2) ontological security, and 3) self-concept, attempting to identify possible protective and risk factors for mental ill-health among female youths at risk for depression and anxiety. The sample comprised ten females on the waiting list at an outpatient psychotherapy clinic for teens and young adults. Results indicated that both functional and dysfunctional factors related to mental health were present, where the quality and availability of significant interpersonal relations seemed to have an important influence. Examples of both an impaired worldview function and a lack of an operating existential worldview were found. Psychotherapeutic implications are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Brill Academic Publishers, 2017. Vol. 39, no 2, p. 165-203
Keywords [en]
existential worldview function, ontological security, self-concept, young women, meaning, belonging, depression, anxiety
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Religious Studies Psychology
Research subject
Psychology of Religion
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-333574DOI: 10.1163/15736121-12341337ISI: 000408056700004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-333574DiVA, id: diva2:1157212
Available from: 2017-11-15 Created: 2017-11-15 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Moments of meaning – Towards an assessment of protective and risk factors for existential vulnerability among young women with mental ill-health concerns: A mixed methods project in clinical psychology of religion and existential health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Moments of meaning – Towards an assessment of protective and risk factors for existential vulnerability among young women with mental ill-health concerns: A mixed methods project in clinical psychology of religion and existential health
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present sequential mixed-methods project was conducted in the area of clinical psychology of religion and existential health. The central aim of the project was to investigate clinically relevant areas for an assessment of protective and risk factors for existential vulnerability and dysfunctional existential meaning-making in a clinical sample of young women with mental ill-health concerns. Three theoretical areas were applied and operationalized for the project: Existential meaning-making; Ontological security; and, Emotion regulation. The sample was composed of female participants at an outpatient psychodynamic psychotherapy clinic for young adults in Sweden, with depression as the most common preliminary diagnosis. Study I, quantitative, comprised an online questionnaire of established assessment-measures, completed by 53 women (17–30 y., M = 22.4 y.). Depression-related personality traits were explored as possible underlying variables when studying relations between mental ill-health and a dysfunctional existential meaning-making process, by comparing groups pertaining to different levels of depression-related personality traits to explore possible differences between groups in the areas studied. Study II, qualitative, comprised an in-depth interview, with a subgroup (n = 10; range 21-25 y, M=22.7) drawn from the preceding study, and representative of those high on depression-related scales. Interrelations between existential meaning-making and emotion regulation were explored in relation to everyday life, critical life-events, and ultimate concerns through a systematic text condensation process. Study III, multi-method, comprised several assessment steps of data from the subgroup, and an assessment of inter-rater reliability (IRR). Possible functional factors (protective) and dysfunctional factors (risk) for mental ill-health were explored through an assessment of Existential worldview function, by the exploration of interrelations among existential worldview, ontological security and self-concept. According to our hypothesis, high scores on the depression-related personality scale Inhibition of aggression were strongly associated with a less functional existential meaning-making process in this sample of young clinical females. Among the High scorers, a crisis of meaning was found in terms of weak or no access to sufficient cultural knowledge or existential resources in intergenerational, emotionally-nurturing relationships. Results further indicated a general lack of an operating existential worldview accompanied by little or no reflection on existential worldview matters among a majority of the subjects and their parents.

Abstract [sv]

Detta sequential mixed-methods projekt genomfördes inom området för klinisk religionspsykologi och existentiell hälsa. Det centrala syftet med studien var att undersöka kliniskt relevanta områden för en bedömning av skydds- och riskfaktorer för existentiell sårbarhet och dysfunktionellt existentiellt meningsskapande i ett kliniskt urval av unga kvinnor med psykisk ohälsa. Tre teoretiska områden applicerades och operationaliserades för studien: Existentiellt meningsskapande; Ontologisk trygghet; och Känsloreglering. Undersökningsgruppen bestod av kvinnliga deltagare vid en psykodynamisk psykoterapimottagning för unga vuxna i Sverige, med depression som den vanligaste preliminära diagnosen. Studie I, kvantitativ, bestod av en online-enkät med etablerade bedömningsinstrument, som besvarades av 53 kvinnor (17-30 år, M = 22,4 år). Depressionsrelaterade personlighetsdrag utforskades som möjliga underliggande variabler i relationen mellan psykisk ohälsa och en dysfunktionell existentiellt meningsskapande process, genom en jämförelse av grupper med olika nivåer av depressionsrelaterade personlighetsdrag, avseende de undersökta områdena. Studie II, kvalitativ, omfattade en djupintervju med ett urval av informanter (n = 10, intervall 21-25 y, M = 22,7) från den föregående studien, representativa för dem med höga värden på depressionsrelaterade personlighetsskalor. Interrelationer mellan existentiellt meningsskapande och känsloreglering undersöktes i förhållande till vardagsliv, kritiska livshändelser och livets yttersta frågor genom en systematisk textkondenseringsprocess. Studie III, multimetod, omfattade flera bedömningssteg av data från urvalsgruppen, och en bedömning av interbedömarreliabilitet (IRR). Möjliga funktionella (skydds-) faktorer och dysfunktionella (risk-) faktorer för psykisk ohälsa undersöktes via den Existentiella världsbildens funktion, operationaliserad som sambandet mellan existentiell världsbild, ontologisk trygghet och självbild. Enligt vår hypotes var höga värden på den depressionsrelaterade personlighetsskalan Aggressionshämning starkt relaterade till en mindre funktionell existentiellt meningsskapande process i detta urval av unga kliniska kvinnor. Bland dem med höga värden framträdde en meningskris med avseende på svag eller ingen tillgång till tillräckliga kulturella eller existentiella resurser i intergenerationella, känslomässigt stödjande relationer. Resultatet indikerade vidare en generell brist på en utvecklad och funktionell existentiell världsbild åtföljd av en låg grad av reflektion gällande existentiella världsbildsfrågor bland majoriteten av informanterna och deras föräldrar.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 135
Series
Psychologia et sociologia religionum, ISSN 0283-149X ; 26
Keywords
Clinical population, depression, anxiety, existential anxiety, internalized symptoms, crisis of meaning, inhibition of aggression, identity, meaning-making, emotion regulation, sense of coherence, self-concept, disruption and repair, high affective moments, existential worldview function, ontological security, belonging, loneliness, sacredness, death
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Research subject
Psychology of Religion
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-333586 (URN)978-91-513-0181-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-02-02, Room IV, University Main Building, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

For the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Faculty of Theology) in psychology of religion

Available from: 2018-01-12 Created: 2017-12-08 Last updated: 2018-03-07

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