Existential Spiritual Life Among Swedish Service Members in Transition: Marking Out Trends

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Abstract

This study investigates, adopting a longitudinal approach, existential spiritual life among military service members (N = 19) during their transition into civilian life. Four general trends within the sample are presented, and highlighted by the 4 case study examples that best capture each of the trends. An interpretation of the findings suggests that transition from active service requires some type of identity reconstruction among the majority of the sample, as the story of who I am is interrupted. Frequently, this initially has a negative impact on the existential spiritual life. The longitudinal outcomes of the identity work depend upon personal control, motivation and access to pathways that support growth of the existential spiritual life. Future research is encouraged that examines this hypothesis more broadly.

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