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Twin Res. 1999 Jun;2(2):81-7.

Self-transcendence as a measure of spirituality in a sample of older Australian twins.

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  • 1Queensland Institute of Medical Research and Joint Genetics Program, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.


Measures of self-transcendence, physical health and psychological well-being were included in a self-report Health and Lifestyle questionnaire administered to Australian twins aged over 50 between 1993 and 1995. Self-transcendence appears to be higher among older Australian women than men, and was significantly associated with religious affiliation, marital status (in women) and age (in men). No strong correlations were observed between self-transcendence and any measure of psychological or physical health. Additive genetic effects were found to be important in influencing self-transcendence, with heritability estimates of 0.37 and 0.41 for men and women respectively, whilst shared environment effects were not found to be significant. Multivariate modelling of self-transcendence scores and self-reported church attendance behavior indicated substantially different etiologies for these variables, with implications for methods of investigation of religiosity and spirituality.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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