Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to further understand the relationship between spirituality and physical health. Contrary to popular assumption, spirituality and religion do not relate to physical health in the same manner. In this investigation, although religious attendance was significantly related to physical health, spirituality was not significantly associated with physical health. In fact, religious affiliation was found to moderate the relationship between spirituality and physical health. The interaction suggests that there is a positive relationship between spirituality and ill physical health for those with no religious affiliation, but no relationship between spirituality and physical health for those with a religious affiliation. The Multidimensional Measure of Spirituality (MMS) is presented with evidence for its validity and reliability. Three factors were identified on the MMS (Affective, Cognitive-Behavioral, and Relational-Connective). The Relational-Connective factor was significantly associated with poorer levels of physical health. Possible explanations for the findings as well as limitations and directions for future research are discussed.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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