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Child abuse, personality, and spirituality as predictors of happiness in maltese college students

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the well-documented effects of child abuse on well-being and also to determine whether spirituality may have a relationship to the well-being of victims. It measures the relationship between spirituality and religious practices to determine how well they predicted subjective well-being in a population of Maltese college students with or without a history of child abuse. The literature on child abuse suggests that a reported history of such events would be related to decreased positive aspects of subjective well-being and increased negative affect. The design chosen in the chapter helps to determine whether spirituality and religious practices could compensate, as it were, for the negative impact of child abuse. Spirituality's ability to predict positive but not negative affect suggests it may be especially suited as a useful variable in the positive psychology movement.

Keywords: child abuse; Maltese college students; psychology movement; religious behaviours; spirituality



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