Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Domains of spirituality and their associations with positive mental health: a study of adolescents in Canada, England and Scotland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

Valerie Michaelson, Nathan King, Jo Inchley, Dorothy Currie, Fiona Brooks, William Pickett

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Spirituality is a concept with ancient roots yet contemporary relevance to mental health. Its assessment in populations of young people, however, remains an immense challenge. Efforts to perform such assessments typically involve use of unidimensional scales incorporating items related to four domains (connections to “self”, “others”, “nature”, and the “transcendent”). For adolescents, it remains unclear whether these domains equally influence mental health, or if one domain is particularly important. Here we analyzed reports from adolescents who participated in the 2014 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study conducted in Canada (n = 21,173), England (n = 4339) and Scotland (n = 5603). Reports of positive mental health were modelled as a function of ordinal scores describing each spiritual health domain, controlling for age, the other domains, and potential confounders. Subsequent analyses focused on the centrality of connections to “self” in these relationships. We identified strong and consistent associations between positive mental health and higher scores for each of the four spiritual health domains. In fully adjusted models, these effects were diminished or changed direction for connections to “others”, “nature”, and the “transcendent”, while the positive association with “connections to self” remained. While associations exist between each of the four domains of spiritual health and positive mental health, it appears that associations with connections to “others”, “nature”, and the “transcendent” are sometimes mediated by connections to “self”. Implications for assessment, models and related interventions and health promotion strategies, based on the idea that inner connections may be central to the protective effects of spiritual health, are considered.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-18
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume125
Early online date5 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Child development, Gender, Mental health, Psychosomatic, Spiritual health

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Do social support and eating family meals together play a role in promoting resilience to bullying and cyberbullying in Scottish school children?

    Shaw, R. J., Currie, D. B., Smith, G. S., Brown, J., Smith, D. J. & Inchley, J. C., Dec 2019, In : SSM - Population Health. 9, 9 p., 100485.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Adolescent alcohol-related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region, 2002-2014

    Inchley, J. C. (ed.), Currie, D. B. (ed.), Vieno, A. (ed.), Torsheim, T. (ed.), Ferreira-Borges, C. (ed.), Weber, M. (ed.), Barnekow, V. (ed.) & Breda, J. (ed.), 2018, Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe. 94 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

  3. Adolescent obesity and related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region, 2002–2014

    Inchley, J. C. (ed.), Currie, D. B. (ed.), Jewell, J. (ed.), Breda, J. (ed.) & Barnekow, V. (ed.), 17 May 2017, WHO Regional Office for Europe. 87 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Related by journal

  1. Dog ownership and physical activity in later life: A cross-sectional observational study

    Feng, Z., Dibben, C. J. L., Witham, M. D., Donnan, P. T., Vadiveloo, T., Sniehotta, F., Crombie, I. K. & McMurdo, M. ET., 12 Jun 2014, In : Preventive Medicine. 66, p. 101 106 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Multilevel evaluation of ‘China Healthy Lifestyles for All’, a nationwide initiative to promote lower intakes of salt and edible oil.

    Zhang, J., Astell-Burt, T. E., Seo, D-C. & Feng, X., 2014, In : Preventive Medicine. 67, p. 210-215

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Mental health benefits of neighbourhood green space are stronger among physically active adults in middle-to-older age: Evidence from 260,061 Australians

    Astell-Burt, T. E., Feng, X. & Kolt, G. S., 2013, In : Preventive Medicine. 57, 5, p. 601-606

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Relation of employment status to socioeconomic position and physical activity types

    Popham, F. & Mitchell, R., 2007, In : Preventive Medicine. 45, 2-3, p. 182-188 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 258894907

Top