Does Spirituality Influence Acceptance of Disability?

With approximately 54 million Americans living with disabilities, exploring and understanding factors that might facilitate or hinder acceptance of one’s disability may be an important area of research.

But what exactly is the relationship between religious/spiritual attitudes and acceptance or lack of acceptance of disability for people with neuromuscular disorders?

Jessica Rupp, 27, who has limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, is studying the possible relationship between religion, or spirituality, and acceptance of disability.

That's a question that Jessica Rupp, a graduate student at Immaculata University in Immaculata, Pa., hopes to clarify. Rupp, 27, who has limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD), is pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and has made spirituality and acceptance of disability the focus of her dissertation.

About the study

To probe the possible connections between religion, spirituality and disability acceptance, Rupp is conducting a survey-based study through her university for her dissertation. The survey consists of multiple-choice questions on the Web.

MDA is not affiliated with this survey.

To participate

If you'd like to participate in Rupp's study, go to Religion, Spirituality, and Disability Acceptance to see the survey questions, which should take approximately 10-15 minutes to answer online. Participants must be 18 years of age or older and have a diagnosis of a neuromuscular disorder. Please respond by Dec. 22, 2010.

Questions or concerns about the study can be addressed to Jessica Rupp at

Editor's note: This article was updated Nov. 29, 2010, with a new deadline for responses, Dec. 22, 2010.

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