'As a Shepherd Divideth his Sheep from the Goats': Does the Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale Encapsulate Separable Theistic and Civility Components?

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Abstract

Numerous studies suggest spirituality and subjective well-being (SWB) are positively associated. However, critics argue that popular spirituality instruments'including the Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale (DSES) contain items that conflate religiosity/spirituality (R/S), prosociality and SWB. Advocates of the DSES retort that, despite this concern, the available evidence confirms a single underlying factor. The current paper evaluates the DSES's development, factor structure, reliability and convergent and predictive validity using a community sample. Despite the full DSES scale's excellent internal reliability, two related factors'theism and civility'are identified. Both scales are reliable and converge meaningfully with related R/S measures. As expected, given previous findings, the full DSES scale predicts higher SWB yet the two subscales display divergent associations. This finding offers new insights into the DSES and raises questions about the claimed belief-as-benefit effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-146
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Volume110
Issue number1
Early online dateAug 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

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title = "'As a Shepherd Divideth his Sheep from the Goats': Does the Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale Encapsulate Separable Theistic and Civility Components?",
abstract = "Numerous studies suggest spirituality and subjective well-being (SWB) are positively associated. However, critics argue that popular spirituality instruments'including the Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale (DSES) contain items that conflate religiosity/spirituality (R/S), prosociality and SWB. Advocates of the DSES retort that, despite this concern, the available evidence confirms a single underlying factor. The current paper evaluates the DSES's development, factor structure, reliability and convergent and predictive validity using a community sample. Despite the full DSES scale's excellent internal reliability, two related factors'theism and civility'are identified. Both scales are reliable and converge meaningfully with related R/S measures. As expected, given previous findings, the full DSES scale predicts higher SWB yet the two subscales display divergent associations. This finding offers new insights into the DSES and raises questions about the claimed belief-as-benefit effect.",
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