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Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 871–887 | Cite as

Intrinsic Religiousness and Spirituality as Predictors of Mental Health and Positive Psychological Functioning in Latter-Day Saint Adolescents and Young Adults

  • Peter W. SandersEmail author
  • G. E. Kawika Allen
  • Lane Fischer
  • P. Scott Richards
  • David T. Morgan
  • Richard W. Potts
Original Paper

Abstract

We investigated the relationships between religiousness and spirituality and various indicators of mental health and positive psychosocial functioning in three separate samples of college students. A total of 898 students at Brigham Young University participated in the three studies. The students ranged in age from 17 to 26 years old, with the average age of 20.9 across all three samples. Our results indicate that intrinsic religiousness, spiritual maturity, and self-transcendence were significantly predictive of better mental health and positive functioning, including lower levels of depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsiveness, and higher levels of global self-esteem, identity integration, moral self-approval, and meaning in life. Intrinsic religiousness was not predictive of shame, perfectionism, and eating disorder symptoms. These findings are consistent with many prior studies that have found religiousness and spirituality to be positively associated with better mental health and positive psychosocial functioning in adolescents and young adults.

Keywords

Intrinsic religiousness Spirituality Adolescent mental health Latter-day saint mental health 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter W. Sanders
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. E. Kawika Allen
    • 1
  • Lane Fischer
    • 1
  • P. Scott Richards
    • 1
  • David T. Morgan
    • 1
  • Richard W. Potts
    • 1
  1. 1.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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