The spirituality of the Chinese people: a critical review

Daniel T. L. Shek

in Oxford Handbook of Chinese Psychology

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199541850
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

The spirituality of the Chinese people: a critical review


This article gives a descriptive as well as a critical picture of studies examining the spirituality of Chinese people. It systematically examines several issues in discussing various aspects of spirituality. It describes methods of assessing spirituality in Chinese people and outlines profiles about spirituality and their related socio-demographic correlates. Furthermore, it discusses the conceptual, methodological, and practical limitations of the existing studies pertinent to spirituality of Chinese people. Besides, this article assesses the meaning of life and the purpose in the lives of Chinese people using two main approaches. The first approach is to assess meaning of life by items or questions included in questionnaires. The second approach is to use psychological scales to assess the construct of meaning of life or purpose in life. The most commonly used measure is the Chinese version of the Purpose in Life Questionnaire, which assesses levels of purpose in life.

Keywords: Chinese spirituality; Purpose in Life Questionnaire; socio-demographic correlates; family process; meaning of life

Article.  16683 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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