Relationships Among Spirituality, Religious Practices, Personality Factors, and Health for Five Different Faith Traditions

Department of Health Psychology, DC116.88, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 65212, USA, .
Journal of Religion and Health (Impact Factor: 1.02). 05/2012; 51(4). DOI: 10.1007/s10943-012-9615-8
Source: PubMed


To determine: (1) differences in spirituality, religiosity, personality, and health for different faith traditions; and (2) the relative degree to which demographic, spiritual, religious, and personality variables simultaneously predict health outcomes for different faith traditions. Cross-sectional analysis of 160 individuals from five different faith traditions including Buddhists (40), Catholics (41), Jews (22), Muslims (26), and Protestants (31). Brief multidimensional measure of religiousness/spirituality (BMMRS; Fetzer in Multidimensional measurement of religiousness/spirituality for use in health research, Fetzer Institute, Kalamazoo, 1999); NEO-five factor inventory (NEO-FFI; in Revised NEO personality inventory (NEO PI-R) and the NEO-five factor inventory (NEO-FFI) professional manual, Psychological Assessment Resources, Odessa, Costa and McCrae 1992); Medical outcomes scale-short form (SF-36; in SF-36 physical and mental health summary scores: A user's manual, The Health Institute, New England Medical Center, Boston, Ware et al. 1994). (1) ANOVAs indicated that there were no significant group differences in health status, but that there were group differences in spirituality and religiosity. (2) Pearson's correlations for the entire sample indicated that better mental health is significantly related to increased spirituality, increased positive personality traits (i.e., extraversion) and decreased personality traits (i.e., neuroticism and conscientiousness). In addition, spirituality is positively correlated with positive personality traits (i.e., extraversion) and negatively with negative personality traits (i.e., neuroticism). (3) Hierarchical regressions indicated that personality predicted a greater proportion of unique variance in health outcomes than spiritual variables. Different faith traditions have similar health status, but differ in terms of spiritual, religious, and personality factors. For all faith traditions, the presence of positive and absence of negative personality traits are primary predictors of positive health (and primarily mental health). Spiritual variables, other than forgiveness, add little to the prediction of unique variance in physical or mental health after considering personality. Spirituality can be conceptualized as a characterological aspect of personality or a distinct construct, but spiritual interventions should continue to be used in clinical practice and investigated in health research.

Download full-text


Available from: Dan Cohen
  • Source
    • "Although the BMMRS has been primarily studied with US Christian populations, it is being increasingly studied with different cultures (Bodling et al. 2013; Mokuau et al. 2001) and faith traditions (Johnstone et al. 2012). However, a review of the literature indicates that relatively few factor analytic studies of the BMMRS using non-US populations have been conducted and none with faith traditions other than Christianity. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this paper was to determine the factor structure of the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality (BMMRS) based on a sample of individuals from diverse cultures (i.e., USA, India), ethnicities (i.e., Caucasian, African-American, South Asian), and religions (i.e., Christian, Muslim, Hindu). A total of 109 individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) were included. Participants completed the BMMRS as part of a broader study on spirituality, religion, prosocial behaviors, and neuropsychological function. A principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation and Kaiser normalization identified a six-factor solution accounting for 72 % of the variance in scores. Five of the factors were deemed to be interpretable and were labeled based on face validity as: (1) Positive Spirituality/Religious Practices; (2) Positive Congregational Support; (3) Negative Spirituality/Negative Congregational Support; (4) Organizational Religion; and (5) Forgiveness. The results were generally consistent with previous studies, suggesting the existence of universal religious, spiritual, and congregational support factors across different cultures and faith traditions. For health outcomes research, it is suggested that the BMMRS factors may be best conceptualized as measuring the following general domains: (a) emotional connectedness with a higher power (i.e., spirituality, positive/negative); (b) culturally based behavioral practices (i.e., religion); and (c) social support (i.e., positive/negative). The results indicate that factor relationships may differ among spiritual, religious, and congregational support variables according to culture and/or religious tradition.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Religion and Health
  • Source
    • "The results have shown that “religious origin” was the main source in the formation of the symptoms and the approach regarding mental health professionals. Other empirical studies (Cohen et al., 2012; Cornah, 2006) have also demonstrated the relationship of religiosity and mental health. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The study was conducted to explore the mental health issues of Pakistani nomads and to uncover their concept, ideation, and perception about mental health and illnesses. It was an exploratory study situated in the qualitative paradigm. The research strategy used was Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), as the study was planned to explore the lived experiences of nomads regarding mental health and coping strategies and how they interpret those experiences. For data collection, focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted. Seven participants were included in the FGDs, and two FGDs were conducted composed of both genders. The responses were recorded, and data were transcribed and analysed using IPA. Data verification procedures of peer review, which help to clarify researcher bias and rich thick description, were used. The major themes were lack of resources and myriad unfulfilled needs, specifically the basic needs (food, shelter, and drinking and bathing water). Moreover, a strong desire to fulfil the secondary needs of enjoyment and having luxuries was also reflected. A list of recommendations was forwarded for policy making of this marginalized community and to create awareness regarding mental health.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
  • Source
    • "Based on the observation that some people seem resistant to stressful experiences [7], researchers investigated health promoting behaviors and found them critical for health improvement and maintenance [8] [9]. These health supporting behaviors include the promotion of mindfulness [10], spirituality [11], social support [12] [13] [14], and a sense of coherence (SOC) [15]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The increase of psychosomatic disorders due to cultural changes requires enhanced therapeutic models. This study investigated a salutogenetic treatment concept for inpatient psychosomatic treatment, based on data from more than 11000 patients of a psychosomatic clinic in Germany. The clinic aims at supporting patients' health improvement by fostering values such as humanity, community, and mindfulness. Most of patients found these values realized in the clinical environment. Self-assessment questionnaires addressing physical and mental health as well as symptom ratings were available for analysis of pre-post-treatment effects and long-term stability using one-year follow-up data, as well as for a comparison with other clinics. With respect to different diagnoses, symptoms improved in self-ratings with average effect sizes between 0.60 and 0.98. About 80% of positive changes could be sustained as determined in a 1-year follow-up survey. Patients with a lower concordance with the values of the clinic showed less health improvement. Compared to 14 other German psychosomatic clinics, the investigated treatment concept resulted in slightly higher decrease in symptoms (e.g., depression scale) and a higher self-rated mental and physical improvement in health. The data suggest that a successfully implemented salutogenetic clinical treatment concept not only has positive influence on treatment effects but also provides long-term stability.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Show more