A Longitudinal Study of Spiritual Engagement, Self-Transcendence, and Human Flourishing
John Astin, Ph.D. & Cassandra Vieten, Ph.D.
California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute
Proposal Summary: Over the past several years, our team has been engaged in research on the mechanisms by which spiritual practices and experiences as part of participation in lay spiritual practice programs result in improved health and well-being, including psychological, emotional and physical health, as well as aspect of prosocial development such as love, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion and altruism. The study is a prospective cohort study of participants from three lay spiritual practice communities. The aim of the study is to determine to what extent various aspects of engagement in the context of spiritual practice community influence health outcomes, and to what extent this influence is mediated by spiritual practices/experiences.