269447 Assessing Puerto Rican religious/spiritual beliefs during marital crisis situations

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Isis Serrano Otero, MS , Ph.D. Program, Carlos Albizu University, San Juan, PR
Sean Sayers, PhD , Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Divorce rates have grown throughout the years and marriages don't last as long as they use to. Couples are moving away from traditional religious ceremonies and moving toward more flexible spiritual unions when they decide to get married (Wright, 1998). Nevertheless, some level of marital problem will occur regardless of religious or spiritual belief. Religion and spirituality are important factors to explore when treating couples in therapy, particularly when some of them do not share the same religious views (Colón, 2008; Duba & Watts, 2009). Mackey and O'Brien (2005) have found that religion plays an important role in long-term marriages (20 or more years). Exploring religious or spiritual beliefs with the couple can help minimize or resolve the differences or problems among them. The purpose of our study is to assess the role that religion/spirituality has in Puerto Rican marital conflict management. An intentional sampling procedure will be performed. Focus groups will be carried out with a sample of 15 Puerto Rican married couples divided into 3 groups: (a) 5 must have 5 to 13 years of marriage; (b) 5 must have 20 to 25 years of marriage; and (c) 5 must have 30 to 35 years of marriage. A content analysis based on the principles of Grounded Theory will be performed to analyze the information gathered from the focal groups. Upon completion of this research process, the results found will help us have a better understanding of how religious or spiritual beliefs influence well-being during a marital crisis.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess the role that religion and spirituality play in marital crisis situations. 2. Identify religious and spiritual views among marriages that have been together for 5 to 13 years, 20 to 25 years, and 30 to 35 years.

Keywords: Religion, Conflict Resolution

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a third year Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Student. During the last two years my research agenda has focus on studying how religion and spiritual beliefs can be an important factor in dealing with marital crisis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.