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An Investigation of the Relationships Between Spirituality, Health Status and Quality of Life in Adolescents

Abstract

This study examines the relationships between six spirituality-related attributes and quality of life (QOL) in adolescents, and the extent to which these relationships are mediated by perceived physical and mental health status and five important life domains (family, friends, living environment, school experiences, and perception of self). The data were obtained via a cross-sectional health survey of 8,225 adolescents in British Columbia, Canada. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized relationships. All spiritual attributes are significantly associated with three or more of the life domains, and four of the attributes significantly explain global QOL after controlling for the other variables in the multivariate model. The attributes indicative of adolescents’ feelings about their future and other existential matters were found to be relatively most explanatory with respect to global QOL. The predominant mediators include adolescents’ satisfaction with their family, their perceived self, and their perceived mental health status. Spirituality is important with respect to adolescents’ QOL. The multivariate model provides preliminary insights into the relevance of several attributes of spirituality and the possible mechanisms by which these attributes may contribute to adolescents’ QOL.

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Notes

  1. An error in the web version of the questionnaire resulted in 10 rungs, instead of 8 rungs, being presented for the QOL-ladder. To remedy this, we re-scored the QOL-ladder for the web and paper versions to their common denominator by multiplying the web version QOL-ladder by 0.8 and rounding the resulting scores to zero decimals. In addition, 109 adolescents indicated a value between rungs on the paper version. Their responses were randomly scored upward or downward to the nearest integer. Further details are provided in Sawatzky et al. (2008).

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Acknowledgements

This research as in part supported by an operating grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (grant #: 62980). Sawatzky is funded by the Canadian Arthritis Network, the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada, and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

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Sawatzky, R., Gadermann, A. & Pesut, B. An Investigation of the Relationships Between Spirituality, Health Status and Quality of Life in Adolescents. Applied Research Quality Life 4, 5–22 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-009-9065-y

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Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Spirituality
  • Health
  • Quality of  life