Do conceptualizations of spirituality and religion affect perceptions of compliance with the ethical standards that address religion? An exploratory study

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Significant progress has been made toward incorporating spiritual and religious diversity into professional discourse. The extent to which the profession is complying with its ethical standards that address religion, however, remains largely unexamined. Consequently, this study explores the relationship between conceptualizations of (1) spirituality, (2) religion, and (3) the nature of the relationship between spirituality and religion, and perceptions of the profession's level of ethical compliance. The results of this exploratory study indicate that perceptions of ethical compliance are generally unrelated to how respondents conceptualized either spirituality or the nature of the relationship between spirituality and religion. A more nuanced picture emerged with religion, with respondents who defined religion in personally constructed terms, without reference to the transcendent, reporting higher levels of ethical compliance, while those who defined religion in terms of community, reported lower levels of ethical compliance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 27 2006



  • Diversity
  • NASW code of ethics
  • Religion
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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