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Transforming Lives: Attending to the Spirit of College Students from Dysfunctional and/or Abusive Young Adult Formational Experiences
Beausoleil, Kent Alan, SJ

2014, Doctor of Philosophy, Miami University, Educational Leadership.
Despite the prevalence of college students who have been a victim of abuse and/or complex dysfunctional experiences, higher education typically ignores the spiritual life of its students in regards to treating the effects of abuse and/or dysfunction. This study examines efforts at four Jesuit universities to offer spiritual programs that attend to the spirit of this particular group of students. The purpose of this phenomenologically grounded research is to understand the nature of the relationship between the practice of Ignatian (Catholic/Christian) spiritual direction and growth toward spiritual intelligence of college-age students and recent college graduates. Participants in this study came from physically, sexually, and/or emotionally abusive homes, dysfunctional childhood experiences, or challenging young adult formational experiences. Each participant was also engaged in Ignatian spiritual direction and Ignatian spiritual programming at the Jesuit universities they attended.

This study examined the life stories of sixteen upper class college students and/or recent college graduates. Each participant was interviewed twice in an open conversational style for a total of thirty-two interviews. The aim of the research was to develop a richer understanding of the impact of Ignatian spiritual direction in light of the effects of their formational experiences. The research questioned whether or not engaging in this particular type of spiritual programming made a significant, positive impact in participants’ spiritual development and growth toward spiritual intelligence.

The findings of this research revealed that Ignatian spiritual direction did indeed lead to developmental growth toward spiritual intelligence for participants along sixteen key spiritual intelligence indicators. Participants experienced these spiritual indicators as a progressive movement that fostered interpersonal healing and wholeness, healthier ways of being and relating to others, and a more positive outlook toward their future as spiritual leaders. This research further demonstrated that attending to college students’ spirit is an important part of their overall holistic development and spiritual intelligence growth.
Judy Rogers, PhD (Advisor)
Elisa Abes, PhD (Committee Member)
Kathleen Goodman, PhD (Committee Member)
M. Elise Radina, PhD (Committee Member)
246 p.

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Beausoleil, K. (2014). Transforming Lives: Attending to the Spirit of College Students from Dysfunctional and/or Abusive Young Adult Formational Experiences . (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Beausoleil, Kent. "Transforming Lives: Attending to the Spirit of College Students from Dysfunctional and/or Abusive Young Adult Formational Experiences ." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Miami University, 2014. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 15 Dec 2017.

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Beausoleil, Kent "Transforming Lives: Attending to the Spirit of College Students from Dysfunctional and/or Abusive Young Adult Formational Experiences ." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Miami University, 2014. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Full text release has been delayed at the author's request until November 26, 2019