Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 438–457

Reliability and Validity of the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality Among Adolescents

Authors

    • Department of PediatricsHarvard Medical School
    • Division on AddictionsHarvard Medical School
    • Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse ResearchChildren’s Hospital Boston
    • Division of Developmental MedicineChildren’s Hospital Boston
    • Division of Adolescent/Young Adult MedicineChildren’s Hospital Boston
  • Lon R. Sherritt
    • Department of PediatricsHarvard Medical School
    • Division on AddictionsHarvard Medical School
    • Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse ResearchChildren’s Hospital Boston
    • Division of Developmental MedicineChildren’s Hospital Boston
  • David W. Holder
    • Department of PediatricsHarvard Medical School
    • Division of General PediatricsChildren’s Hospital Boston
  • John Kulig
    • Department of PediatricsTufts University School of Medicine
    • Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent MedicineFloating Hospital for Children at Tufts-New England Medical Center
  • Lydia A. Shrier
    • Department of PediatricsHarvard Medical School
    • Division of Adolescent/Young Adult MedicineChildren’s Hospital Boston
  • John R. Knight
    • Department of PediatricsHarvard Medical School
    • Division on AddictionsHarvard Medical School
    • Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse ResearchChildren’s Hospital Boston
    • Division of Developmental MedicineChildren’s Hospital Boston
    • Division of Adolescent/Young Adult MedicineChildren’s Hospital Boston
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10943-007-9154-x

Cite this article as:
Harris, S.K., Sherritt, L.R., Holder, D.W. et al. J Relig Health (2008) 47: 438. doi:10.1007/s10943-007-9154-x

Abstract

Background Developed for use in health research, the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality (BMMRS) consists of brief measures of a broad range of religiousness and spirituality (R/S) dimensions. It has established psychometric properties among adults, but little is known about its appropriateness for use with adolescents. Purpose We assessed the psychometric properties of the BMMRS among adolescents. Method We recruited a racially diverse (85% non-White) sample of 305 adolescents aged 12–18 years (median 16 yrs, IQR 14–17) from 3 urban medical clinics; 93 completed a retest 1 week later. We assessed internal consistency and test–retest reliability. We assessed construct validity by examining how well the measures discriminated groups expected to differ based on self-reported religious preference, and how they related to a hypothesized correlate, depressive symptoms. Religious preference was categorized into “No religion/Atheist” (11%), “Don’t know/Confused” (9%), or “Named a religion” (80%). Results Responses to multi-item measures were generally internally consistent (alpha ≥0.70 for 12/16 measures) and stable over 1 week (intraclass correlation coefficients ≥0.70 for 14/16). Forgiveness, Negative R/S Coping, and Commitment items showed lower internal cohesiveness. Scores on most measures were higher (p < 0.05) among those who “Named a religion” compared to the “No religion/Atheist” group. Forgiveness, Commitment, and Anticipated Support from members of one’s congregation were inversely correlated with depressive symptoms, while BMMRS measures assessing negative R/S experiences (Negative R/S Coping, Negative Interactions with others in congregation, Loss in Faith) were positively correlated with depressive symptoms. Conclusions These findings suggest that most BMMRS measures are reliable and valid for use among adolescents.

Keywords

ReligiousnessSpiritualityAdolescentsMeasuresReliabilityValidity

Copyright information

© Blanton-Peale Institute 2007