Differential influences of the facets of religious and spiritual beliefs on salvation army officers’ quality of life

Rhonda Shaw, Bruce Stevens, Peter Bewert, Mavis Salt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Salvation Army officers often work in stressful situations which are likely to impact on wellbeing. No research has examined the buffering effects of the officers’ strong religious and spiritual beliefs on this relationship. The current study aimed to examine the relationship between quality of life (QoL) and religious and spiritual beliefs among current and retired Salvation Army officers from the Australian Eastern Territory. Two hundred and seventy officers aged between 30 and 93 years (153 males and 102 females) completed the WHOQOL-BREF1 and the WHOQOL-SRPB.2 The results of the analyses revealed positive relationships between religious and spiritual QoL, the eight facets of the WHOQOL-SRPB, overall QoL and each of the four WHOQOL-BREF domains. The results showed that the facets of religious and spiritual QoL made differential contributions to QoL, and the QoL domains. Hope and optimism was the only facet to predict physical and environment QoL in regression analyses. It was also a significant predictor, along with inner peace and meaning and purpose in life, of psychological QoL. Wholeness and integration, spiritual strength and faith significantly predicted the social relationship domain. However, the relationship with spiritual strength and social relationships was mediated by wholeness and integration. Spiritual connection did not significantly predict any of the QoL domains. Religious and spiritual beliefs are important for Salvation Army officers maintaining a high level of QoL in the face of stressful work environments. However, the different facets of religion and spirituality play different roles in this relationship and need to be examined individually. This is particularly important given that religious and spiritual beliefs may help officers cope with stressful work situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-76
Number of pages12
JournalJournal for the study of spirituality
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2018

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