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This research investigated the prevalence of mystical experiences and how these experiences relate to beliefs about drug addiction, drug use, and spiritual practices. Subjects were 300 undergraduate and graduate students at a large midwestern university who filled out self-report scales on mysticism (Ralph W. Hood, Jr.'s Mysticism Scale) and drug addiction beliefs (Jeffrey A. Schaler's Addiction Beliefs Scale). The scales examined use of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, opium products, and other substances; religious affiliation; spiritual orientation; spiritual practices; and meaningfulness of spiritual practices. Analysis indicated that there were significant differences by university department and by focus on educational or transpersonal courses, but not by gender or year in school. A three-factor solution was produced on the Mysticism Scale, with factors being extrovertive mysticism, introvertive mysticism, and religious interpretation. Factor analysis of the Addiction Beliefs Scale produced factors with low or negligible reliabilities. Results revealed that mystical experiences were not uncommon experiences. Students who engaged in certain spiritual practices and experimented with and/or used certain drugs seemed to have a greater likelihood of a mystical experience. (Contains 25 references.) (JDD)

Descriptors: Beliefs, College Students, Drug Addiction, Drug Use, Graduate Students, Higher Education, Incidence, Mysticism, Religion, Student Attitudes, Student Experience, Undergraduate Students

Autor: Hruby, Paula Jo; Roberts, Thomas B.


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