The relationship between coping and spiritual well-being during adolescence
ARTICLE I: The factor analyses of the Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire using a South African adolescent sample Gomez and Fisher (2003) developed the Spiritual Well-being Questionnaire (SWBQ) based on a theoretical model of spiritual well-being proposed by Fisher. According to Fisher, spiritual well-being comprises the personal, communal, environmental and transcendental domains, which are interrelated and cohere to give a global spiritual well-being dimension. The 2003 study showed the SWBQ to have good reliability and validity. Item response theory analyses of the SWBQ (Gomez & Fisher, 2005a) suggested general support for the psychometric properties of the SWBQ. However, there were also indications that certain items in the questionnaire needed to be improved. The present study was undertaken to do a factor analyses of the SWBQ using an adolescent South African sample to gauge its suitability. Gomez and Fisher’s (2005a) recommendation was considered and certain items were added to the SWBQ for factor analyses with the aim of replacing some of the original items. The factor structure that was found in this study corresponds with the factor structure found in Gomez and Fisher’s study (2003). Acceptable coefficients of internal consistency for the different subscales (factors) as well as for the global score of the SWBQ were found. In addition, in line with Gomez and Fisher’s (2005a) recommendation, the revised SWBQ scale presented in this study seems to have been improved in terms of its psychometric properties and appears to be a reliable instrument in measuring the spiritual well-being of adolescents. ARTICLE II: The role of age, gender and specific religious variables in the coping of adolescents This study investigated whether there were statistically meaningful associations (using Scheffé tests to determine effect sizes) between the coping strategies used by adolescents and the variables of age, gender, importance of religion/ spirituality, attendance of church activities and frequency of prayer. The sample comprised of 1283 high school learners located in the metropole of Cape Town, South Africa. The results are as follows: females used the “developing social support” coping strategy much more than males, older adolescents used the “avoiding problems” coping strategy more than younger adolescents, an inverse correlation was found between the “avoiding problems” coping strategy and an increase in the “importance of religion” variable, a positive correlation was found for the three dimensions of religion/spirituality (importance of religion/spirituality, frequency of church attendance and frequency of prayer) and the “seeking spiritual support” coping variable. ARTICLE III: The relationship between coping and spiritual well-being in a group of South African adolescents This study investigated whether there were statistically meaningful associations (using Scheffé tests to determine effect sizes) between coping and spiritual well-being in a group of South African adolescents. The sample consisted of 1283 adolescent learners drawn from high schools in the metropole of Cape Town, South Africa. The ACOPE (Patterson & McCubbin, 1987) instrument was used to measure coping in terms of 12 coping strategies. Spiritual wellbeing was measured by the SWBQ (Gomez & Fisher, 2003) instrument, which gives a global score as well as a score for each of four spiritual well-being domains (personal, communal, environmental and transcendental). The results indicated a significant positive association, with large effect size, suggesting practical importance between the coping subscale “seeking spiritual support” and the transcendental spiritual well-being domain. In addition, a significant positive association with medium effect size, suggesting moderate practical importance, was found for the coping subscale “developing social support” and the communal spiritual well-being domain.