Author: Ballew SH, Hannum SM, Gaines JM, Marx KA, Parrish JM.
Doctoral Program in Gerontology, University of Maryland, Baltimore and Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD, 21250, USA, sballew@jhsph. edu.
Conference/Journal: J Relig Health.
Date published: 2011 May 21
Other: Word Count: 240
Abstract: Our research explores the correlates of
spiritual experiences over a 2-year period in a sample of older adults
(N = 164; mean age 81.9 years) living in a continuing care
retirement community. Utilizing responses to the Daily Spiritual Experiences
Scale, scores were analyzed for changes over time and for their hypothesized
moderating effect in the relationship between chronic illness impact and
markers of psychological well-being (as measured by the Geriatric Depression
and Life Satisfaction scales). Repeated measures ANOVA indicated a significant
decline (P < .01) in the reported spiritual experiences over a
2-year period of time, and t tests showed a significant difference by gender
(P < .01) in years 1 and 2, with women reporting higher levels of
spiritual experiences than men. Analyses found low spirituality scores
associated with low life satisfaction in all years (baseline:
r = -.288, P < .01; year 1: r = -.209,
P < .05; year 2: r = -.330, P < .001). Only
weak associations were detected between low spirituality and the presence of
depressive symptoms at baseline (r = .186, P < .05) and
year 2 (r = .254, P < .01). Moderation effects of
spirituality on the relationship between chronic illness impact and markers of
psychological well-being were explored in all years, with a statistically
significant effect found only for the presence of depressive symptoms in year
2. Higher impact of chronic illnesses is associated with more depressive
symptoms under conditions of low spirituality. Future research may center upon
longer-duration evaluation of reliance upon spiritual practices and their
impact in care management models.