Description: The present study contributes to the widening body of spirituality research by conceptualizing it as a state-trait construct. A new measure of spirituality, the State-Trait Spirituality Inventory (STSI), was created and validated according to psychometric methods of test construction. In its current form, the STSI contains seven state spirituality items and six trait spirituality items. A thorough review of the literature identified common themes in spirituality definitions and assisted in developing definitions of trait and state spirituality. Internal consistency for the trait scale was .88 and for the state scale, .68. Good test-retest reliability was found with coefficients of .84 for trait spirituality and .81 for state spirituality. Results from a preliminary undergraduate sample as well as from the validation sample yielded a two-factor solution. In general, items determined by expert panels as trait items loaded on one factor and items deemed to be state items loaded on the second factor. Multitrait multimethod analysis yielded mixed findings for convergent, divergent, and concurrent validity for the spirituality and religiosity traits. Methods consisted of paper-and-pencil cognitive and behavioral measures. Cognitive measures were more likely to support convergent/divergent validity than were behavioral measures. A major emphasis in the study was to determine whether state and/or trait spirituality were able to predict current health status and provide evidence for predictive validity. Positive relationships were identified between trait spirituality and the mental health measures of the Short Form-36® (SF-36). In contrast, it was negatively related to the Role-Physical scale. State spirituality was inversely related to the Physical Component scale. These findings are discussed within the context of minimal research using the SF-36 and spirituality measures. The MTMM analysis was limited by available spirituality and religiosity measures that contain only cognitive or behavioral items. Suggestions for future research are offered.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Harvey, Michelle B.