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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2004 Oct;192(10):682-8.

Moral conflict, religiosity, and neuroticism in an outpatient sample.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, USA.

Abstract

Our sense of identity is inextricably connected to our sense of ourselves as moral beings. However, concerns about the rightness and wrongfulness of our own actions, and a range of emotions connected to moral worry, such as regret and remorse, rarely receive clinical attention. The present study sought to develop and operationalize the construct of moral concern or worry in a psychiatric outpatient sample and to investigate relationships between moral worry and age, gender, religiosity, and the tendency to worry in general. The Eysenck Personality Inventory, Duke Religiosity Scale, and a 20-item Worry Scale (containing eight moral worry items) were administered to 225 psychiatric outpatients. Data analysis included principal components analysis, repeated measures MANOVA to examine extent of worry among factor scales and interactions between age and sex, and multiple regression to identify significant correlates of each factor scale. Worry about moral issues emerged as a domain distinct from worry about practical matters. Although respondents reported more worry about practical matters than about moral concerns, worry about the former declined with age, whereas worry about the latter did not. Intrinsic religiosity was negatively correlated and neuroticism positively correlated with both scales. Because patients are concerned about the moral aspects of their character and behavior, this area deserves further research and consideration.

PMID:
15457111
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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