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This study examined the role of three spiritual responses to divorce for psychological adjustment: appraising the event as a sacred loss/desecration, engaging in adaptive spiritual coping, and experiencing spiritual struggles. A sample of 100 adults (55% female) was recruited through public divorce records. Most appraised their divorce as a sacred loss/desecration (74%), experienced spiritual struggles (78%), and engaged in adaptive spiritual coping (88%). Appraisals of sacred loss/desecration and spiritual struggles were tied to higher levels of depression. Adaptive spiritual coping was tied to greater posttraumatic growth. Spiritual coping and struggles each contributed uniquely to adjustment beyond parallel forms of nonspiritual coping and struggles and mediated links between viewing the divorce as a sacred loss/desecration and depression.

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Journal of Marriage and Family