Date of Conferral







Ronald Paige


Higher education has not been successfully producing students with positive self-identities and an integrated sense of self with the world. Little research shows how the relationships among socialization, integration, and spirituality can address the problem of cognitive dissonance. The research question for this study examined interrelationships among socialization, integration, and spirituality at a small, historically black, Christian college located in the mid-South? This quantitative, exploratory study utilized Durkheim's integration theory and Blau's theory of structuralism as the theoretical base. Survey data were gathered through a survey developed from Astin's, Reeley's, and Ross & Straus's survey instruments to help create a conceptual model of the relationship among the 3 main variables. Survey data (n = 306) were analyzed through Spearman rho coefficients and chi-squared tests. Categorical analyses revealed relationships among levels of the 3 main variables. Findings include 2 main types of spirituality, that integration is correlated with higher levels of spirituality, that socialization is correlated with lower levels of spirituality, and that oversocialized students, without high levels of integration, had lower spirituality levels, indicating that socialization is a primary facilitator in with the process of integration. The findings may be used to promote positive social change through more clearly seeing the pivotal roles of integration and spirituality in the lives of college students. For students who do not experience spiritual integration in their lives, educators are better able to equip students to live lives that are more spiritual and enjoy a better quality of life.