Longitudinal associations for right-wing authoritarianism, social justice, and compassion among seminary students
Religious/spiritual communities in the United States hold significant differences in the relative valuing of social order and progress toward social justice, and religious/spiritual leaders play an influential role in fostering those values. This recognition has prompted calls for theological education to revise the process of student formation, equipping them to address an increasingly diverse social world and the social disparities within their larger communities. Right-wing authoritarianism tends to be associated with a preference for social order and various forms of prejudice, and negatively associated with prosocial attitudes and behaviors. However, there is a limited amount of research examining associations between right-wing authoritarianism and the prosocial constructs of social justice commitment and compassion. The present study explored the longitudinal associations between right-wing authoritarianism, social justice commitment, and compassion in a sample of graduate students from 18 Christian seminaries across North America over two and a half years of their education (N = 580; Mage = 31.50; 47.3% female; 62.9% White). Longitudinal data analysis indicated that right-wing authoritarianism exerted a negative influence on social justice commitment and compassion, during the initial time interval which then faded over time. Results also indicated a reciprocal process among right-wing authoritarianism and social justice commitment. Practical implications centered on the potential for interventions targeting the reduction of right-wing authoritarianism to increase social justice commitment and compassion, and interventions targeting greater social justice commitment to lower right-wing authoritarianism.
Seminary; Counseling (M.A.); Marriage and Family Therapy (M.A.)
Archive for the Psychology of Religion
Jankowski, Peter J.; Sandage, Steven J.; Hauge, Daniel J.; Hee An, Choi; and Wang, David C., "Longitudinal associations for right-wing authoritarianism, social justice, and compassion among seminary students" (2022). Graduate School Faculty Publications. 14.