Social Indicators Research

, Volume 88, Issue 2, pp 247–271

Daily Spiritual Experiences and Psychological Well-being Among US Adults


DOI: 10.1007/s11205-007-9187-2

Cite this article as:
Ellison, C.G. & Fan, D. Soc Indic Res (2008) 88: 247. doi:10.1007/s11205-007-9187-2


This study focuses on one of the most significant recent innovations in the conceptualization and measurement of religiousness and spirituality, the Daily Spiritual Experience scale (DSES; Underwood (2006) Archive for the Psychology of Religion/Archiv fur Religion Psychologie, 28, 181–218). Using data from 1998 and 2004 NORC General Social Surveys, we address a number of questions regarding the social patterning of daily spiritual experiences, and the relationships between spiritual experiences and multiple dimensions of psychological well-being. Our results suggest a robust positive association between DSES and psychological well-being. By contrast, DSES appears to have little bearing on negative affect. We also found that DSES does not account for the association between religious practices and psychological variables. That is, DSES appears to tap another aspect of spirituality that is relevant for well-being, above and beyond the influence of religious practices. Various implications of the findings, as well as study limitations and future research direction are discussed.


Daily spiritual experiences Mental health Psychological well-being Spirituality Religion 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyThe University of TexasAustinUSA