Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 414–444

Measurement of Religiosity/Spirituality in Adolescent Health Outcomes Research: Trends and Recommendations

  • Sian Cotton
  • Meghan E. McGrady
  • Susan L. Rosenthal
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10943-010-9324-0

Cite this article as:
Cotton, S., McGrady, M.E. & Rosenthal, S.L. J Relig Health (2010) 49: 414. doi:10.1007/s10943-010-9324-0


The relationship between religious/spiritual (R/S) factors and adolescent health outcomes has been studied for decades; however, the R/S measurement tools used may not be developmentally relevant for adolescents. A systematic literature review was conducted to review and evaluate trends in measuring R/S in adolescent health outcomes research. In this review a total of 100 articles met criteria for inclusion. Relatively few (n = 15) included adolescent-specific R/S measures or items accounting for developmentally relevant issues such as parental religiosity or age-appropriate language. Future R/S and health research with adolescents would be strengthened by incorporating developmentally relevant R/S measurement tools, psychometrics, and multidimensional measures.


ReligiositySpiritualityMeasurementAdolescentsHealth outcomes

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sian Cotton
    • 1
  • Meghan E. McGrady
    • 2
  • Susan L. Rosenthal
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Family and Community MedicineUniversity of Cincinnati Academic Health CenterCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkNYUSA