Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Peter Martin


The purpose of this research study was to investigate how interpersonal and spiritual resources influence well-being in a sample of older men and women residing in religious monastic communities. Participants for this study included 235 (164 women and 71 men) individuals, age 64 and older, from the Religious Order of St. Benedict. Two (Age) X Two (Gender) Analyses of Variance were used to analyze mean differences. Young-old persons had higher mean scores on close friendship, coping behaviors, and personal growth than did old-old individuals. However, old-old individuals had higher average scores on religious coping behaviors and depression than did young-old persons. Women had higher mean scores on coping behaviors, life satisfaction, and personal growth. Men had higher average scores on depression in comparison to women. Multiple regression was then used to investigate direct and moderating effects of interpersonal and spiritual resources relative to stress and well-being. Lower levels of friendship and attachment to God were directly related to greater loneliness and depression, and higher levels of friendship and attachment to God were directly associated with greater personal growth. High friendship moderated the relationship between stress and loneliness. In addition, the effects of stress on depression were reduced in the presence of less friendship in combination with less attachment to God. Structural equation modeling was used in a final analysis. A religious (CFI = 1.00) and a secular (CFI = .98) model of well-being were established. Based on the secular model of well-being, multiple group comparison was performed. Greater stress was a predictor of less attachment to others in old-old persons. In addition, close friendship and less attachment to others were associated with greater socioemotional coping behaviors. For young-old individuals, greater attachment to others and greater socioemotional coping behaviors were associated with more personal growth.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Alexander John Bishop



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

148 pages