Validation of the Chinese Version of Underwood’s Daily Spiritual Experience Scale—Transcending Cultural Boundaries?

  • Siu-Man Ng
  • Ted C. T. Fong
  • Elaine Y. L. Tsui
  • Friendly S. W. Au-Yeung
  • Sally K. W. Law



Daily spiritual experience (DSE) refers to one’s interaction with the transcendent in day-to-day life. Underwood’s Daily Spiritual Experience Scale mic(DSES) was developed to measure this experiential component of religiousness and spirituality. Addressing ordinary daily experiences rather than particular beliefs, DSES has transcultural applicability potential.


The current study aimed to develop and evaluate the Chinese version of DSES (DSES-C).


The 16-item scale was translated faithfully through standard translation/back-translation procedures. The term “God” required an extended definition embracing both a humanized and a philosophical higher power in Chinese culture. The translated scale plus a battery of validation scales were administered to staff of a large rehabilitation service complex, resulting in 245 completed questionnaires.


Exploratory factor analysis revealed a similar factor structure as the original English version and similar problems with items 13 (compassion) and 14 (mercy). After carefully deliberating on the Chinese conceptualization of spirituality and balancing psychometric properties, the one-factor 16-item structure of the English version was supported. DSES-C showed high internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.97). Construct validity was supported by correlations with validation scales in expected directions.


The psychometric properties of DSES were similar to the English version in factor structure, internal consistency, and convergence/divergence construct validity.


Scale validation Spirituality Daily spiritual experience Chinese 



This research was supported by grants from the Providence Garden for Rehab, the Sheng Kung Hui Diocesan Welfare Council. We would like to express our gratitude to the staff at the Providence Garden for Rehab for their help and collaboration, as well as their kind participation in this study. We would also like to thank Dr. Lynn G. Underwood for her permission and assistance in using the DSES in the study and Ryder Chan for his valuable statistical advice.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siu-Man Ng
    • 1
  • Ted C. T. Fong
    • 1
  • Elaine Y. L. Tsui
    • 1
  • Friendly S. W. Au-Yeung
    • 2
  • Sally K. W. Law
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre on Behavioral HealthThe University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  2. 2.The Providence Garden for RehabHong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare CouncilHong Kong SARChina

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