Relationship between attachment to parent and peer and psychological distance: the mediating effect of spiritual identity


Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran


Introduction: Spiritual identity, defined as self-identification based on spirituality and spiritual experiences, has gained increasing attention during the past few years. The aim of this study was to assess several predictors and outcomes of spiritual identity based on a causal model.Methods: For this purpose, parent and peer attachment were considered as exogenous variables, spiritual identity was considered as a mediating variable, and psychological distance was considered as an endogenous variable. The statistical population of this study consisted of all bachelor students of the Shiraz University, Shiraz, southern Iran, during the 2012-2013 academic year. Thus, 398 students consisting of 255 women and 143 men were selected using the stratified cluster sampling method. The data collection tools consisted of the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment, the Social Dominance Orientation questionnaire, the Circle of Moral Regard questionnaire and the Spiritual Identity questionnaire. The reliability and validity of the instruments were measured using Cronbach’s alpha and factor analysis, respectively.Results: Results of factor analysis showed the two main factors of metaphysical and moral beliefs for spiritual identity questionnaire. Overall, results yield a desirable reliability and validity for scales. For analyzing the research model, Amos software was used. We found that moral beliefs had a mediating role with respect to the relationship between peer attachment and psychological distance, while parent attachment was not a direct or indirect predictor of psychological distance.Conclusion: Conclusively, close relationships and attachment to peers reduces psychological distance through the mediating role of moral beliefs.

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