The relationship of self-acceptance to acceptance of others with reference to clinical pastoral training
Young, Lewis Charles
MetadataShow full item record
Theologians, philosophers, and psychotherapists have assumed that a positive, linear, and sequential relationship exists between self-acceptance and acceptance of others. Research results, however, at points contradict one another and/or basic theory. The aims of the present study were to: (1) explore more fully the nature of the relationship between self-acceptance and acceptance of others with particular reference to Clinical Pastoral Training (CPT); and (2) present conclusions and implications relative to the goals and methods of CPT. Self-acceptance meant both the: (1) receiving into awareness of all experience relevant to one's self-concept; and (2) perceiving one's self as of value and worth. Acceptance of others connoted the same two meanings but in relation to others. A distinction was made between superficial and real acceptance. That which is superficially accepted is merely available to the understanding while that which is really accepted influences behavior. Two hypotheses were explored: (1) that a positive relationship exists between expressed self-acceptance and expressed acceptance of others, and (2) that a positive relationship exists between expressed self-acceptance and acceptance of others as indicated by the judged adequacy of interpersonal relationships. The sample was 115 students from the CPT programs at Boston City and Boston State Hospitals during the summers of 1963 and 1964. The first hypothesis was explored by comparing scores of self-acceptance and acceptance of others on each of two self-report tests: Billsrs Index of Adjustment and Values and Ellzey's A Study of Attitudes. Pearson product-moment correlations were computed to indicate the degree of relationship between the scores. The second hypothesis was explored by: (1) comparing the self-acceptance scores of all 115 subjects on each test with their grades in the CPT program; and (2) comparing self-acceptance scores of twenty-eight subjects, who were the fifteen with the highest and the thirteen with the lowest self-acceptance scores on both tests, with their supervisor's written evaluation of the adequacy of their interpersonal relationships. The first hypothesis was confirmed, since self-acceptance and acceptance of others scores correlated significantly (.05 level or above) with each other on each test. The second hypothesis was tentatively confirmed, since seven out of fifteen subjects with high and only two out of thirteen subjects with low self-acceptance scores were judged to have related adequately to others. Further, grades failed to correlate significantly (.05 level) with self-acceptance scores. In addition, high self-acceptance scores were more often obtained by those who valued themselves highly but who excluded negative aspects of their experience, while low self-acceptance scores were more often obtained by those who devalued themselves but who were aware of the negative aspects of their experience. Major conclusions: (1) numerous intervening variables influence the relationship between the variables; and (2) self-report tests are inadequate indicators of true self-acceptance. Implications for CPT are: (1) the self-report tests used in this study may be used best to aid a CPT student understand his self-perceptions; (2) grades in CPT are invalid indicators of the quality of interpersonal functioning; (3) goals and methods of CPT should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate the individuality of each student; and (4) the Christian faith with its concepts of the value, worth, and dignity of the individual in spite of his sinfulness should be actively affirmed for it provides a constructive framework within which a student may orient his self-acceptance. Future studies need to: (1) increase the validity of the measuring instruments; (2) use more than one method of investigation at a time as a check on the validity of each; and (3) investigate the relationship between self-evaluations and observed behavior.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston UniversityPLEASE NOTE: Boston University Libraries did not receive an Authorization To Manage form for this thesis or dissertation. It is therefore not openly accessible, though it may be available by request. If you are the author or principal advisor of this work and would like to request open access for it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.