The Spiritual History Scale in four dimensions (SHS-4): validity and reliability.
The goals of this study were to develop a valid, reliable measure of lifetime religious and spiritual experience and to assess its value in explaining late-life health. Procedures included semi-structured interviews with Duke Aging Center volunteers (n = 30), followed by structured interviews of a stratified, random sample of subjects (n = 157) from the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly at Duke University. Principal components analysis suggested four factors with favorable psychometrics. Health-impaired subjects reported a history of seeking/receiving divine aid (God Helped). At every level of impairment, Lifetime Religious Social Support and current religious attendance were positively correlated. Regardless of current attendance, subjects who reported higher Lifetime Religious Social Support received more instrumental social support. Healthy behaviors were associated with both God Helped and Lifetime Religious Social Support. Cost of Religiousness predicted depressive symptoms and impaired social support. Family History of Religiousness was unrelated to late-life health. Evaluation of the Spiritual History Scale in Four Dimensions (SHS-4) across geographical settings, cultural subgroups, age cohorts, and clinical samples is warranted.
Hays, JC; Meador, KG; Branch, PS; George, LK
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