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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 949838, 9 pages
Research Article

Ego and Spiritual Transcendence: Relevance to Psychological Resilience and the Role of Age

School of Education, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Sterneckstraße 15, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria

Received 7 June 2013; Revised 22 July 2013; Accepted 29 August 2013

Academic Editor: Arndt Büssing

Copyright © 2013 Barbara Hanfstingl. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The paper investigates different approaches of transcendence in the sense of spiritual experience as predictors for general psychological resilience. This issue is based on the theoretical assumption that resilience does play a role for physical health. Furthermore, there is a lack of empirical evidence about the extent to which spirituality does play a role for resilience. As potential predictors for resilience, ego transcendence, spiritual transcendence, and meaning in life were measured in a sample of 265 people. The main result of a multiple regression analysis is that, in the subsample with people below 29 years, only one rather secular scale that is associated with ego transcendence predicts resilience, whereas for the older subsample of 29 years and above, spiritual transcendence gains both a positive (oneness and timelessness) and a negative (spiritual insight) relevance to psychological resilience. On the one hand, these results concur with previous studies that also found age-related differences. On the other hand, it is surprising that the MOS spiritual insight predicts psychological resilience negatively, the effect is increasing with age. One possible explanation concerns wisdom research. Here, an adaptive way of dealing with the age-related loss of control is assumed to be relevant to successful aging.