Spirituality and health: their associations and measurement problems


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    Most studies report a positive association of religiosity and spirituality (R/S) with aspects of health. However, a smaller proportion reports mixed or negative associations. Therefore, the aim of this thesis was to assess the associations of R/S with different areas of health, focusing on the behavioural and psychological pathways, to explore possible sources of discrepant findings on R/S and health, and to present a new approach of R/S assessment. We used two nationally representative samples of Czechs (adolescent and adult) and one online adult sample.
    We found that R/S was associated with a more active leisure time choices and a decreased risk behaviour. However, for cannabis and drugs use only the combination of both R and S was protective. Moreover, certain negative R/S experiences and attitudes, e.g. a perceived distance of God, were associated with a more adverse effect on mental health, especially when they followed a religious conversion. We also learned that the sociocultural context, type of R/S and especially measurement problems could contribute to the heterogeneity of the findings on the associations of R/S with health.
    This thesis supports the findings of other authors on the pathways of associations of R/S with health and offers additional insights into these mechanisms. It also offers a new approach for measuring implicit attitudes in the area of R/S, based on using emotions from a display of faces as response categories. Using this approach could help to decrease the effect of bias due to social desirability in survey studies on attitudes.
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    Toekennende instantie
    • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
    • Reijneveld, Menno, Supervisor
    • Tavel, Peter, Supervisor
    • van Dijk, Jitze, Co-supervisor
    Datum van toekenning12-jun-2019
    Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
    Gedrukte ISBN's978-94-034-1706-6
    Elektronische ISBN's978-94-034-1705-9
    StatusPublished - 2019

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