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The Relationship between Work-Related Psychological Health and Psychological Type among Clergy Serving in The Presbyterian Church (USA)

In: Journal of Empirical Theology
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  • 1 The Presbyterian Church (USA);, Email: keithwulff@lycos.net
  • | 2 The University of Warwick, UK;, Email: leslie.francis@warwick.ac.uk
  • | 3 The University of Warwick, UK;, Email: mandy.robbins@warwick.ac.uk
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Abstract

This study examines the relationship between work-related psychological health and the Jungian model of psychological type among a sample of 748 clergy serving within The Presbyterian Church (USA). Psychological type was assessed by the Francis Psychological Type Scales which provide classification in terms of orientation (extraversion or introversion), perceiving (sensing or intuition), judging (thinking or feeling) and attitude toward the outer world (extraverted judging or extraverted perceiving). Work-related psychological health was assessed by the Francis Burnout Inventory which distinguishes between positive affect (the Satisfaction in Ministry Scale) and negative affect (the Scale of Emotional Exhaustion in Ministry). The data demonstrated that these clergy display high levels of negative affect coupled with high levels of positive affect. The data also confirmed that the main association between work-related psychological health and psychological type is a function of the orientations (the source of psychological energy). Compared with clergy who prefer introversion, clergy who prefer extraversion display both higher levels of satisfaction in ministry and lower levels of emotional exhaustion in ministry. These findings are consistent with the theory that the extraverted nature of ministry requires introverted clergy to operate for considerable periods of time outside their preferred orientations, with the consequent loss of energy and the consequent erosion of psychological rewards. Strategies are suggested for enabling introverted clergy to cope more effectively and more efficiently with the extraverted demands of ministry.

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