Spirituality/Religiousness and the general well-being of older adults
Spirituality is an important resource for older adults in terms of an intra-psychic means of coping and adaptation with issues of daily life, loss, and death. However, little is known about impact of spirituality/religiousness on the general well-being of older adults. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of spirituality/religiousness on the general well-being of older adults in seven central states. This study is important for social workers to increase their assessment and intervention skills utilizing religiousness/spirituality to minimize the health problems of older adults. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted through a convenience sampling method for 143 older adults 65 year-old or over from 15 counties in seven central states. To measure various domains of health status), the General Well-Being Schedule (GWBS) was used. To measure spirituality/religiousness, the Brief Multidimensional Measures of Religiousness/Spirituality (BMMRS) was used. Results: The respondents ranged in age from 65 to 97. The other characteristics showed female (55.2%); Caucasian (63.4%); married (47.9%). Regression results showed that higher spiritual experience is significantly associated with lower anxiety (B=-.37, ≤ .01), greater positive well-being (B=.46, ≤; .01), and greater vitality (B=.36, p ≤ .05). Religious support is a negative factor in the positive well-being of older adults (B=-.24, p ≤ .05). Implications: Social work practitioners should assess the religious background of clients, family, community, and nation and level of concerns in use of spiritual resourses. However, the religious/spiritual intervention of social work practitioners should be offered as a type of therapeutic options because some clients do not like religious/spiritual activities and some religious/spiritual intervention can cause negative results to clients.
First place winner of poster presentations in the Social Science section at the 9th Annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Forum (URCAF) held at the Eugene Hughes Metropolitan Complex , Wichita State University, May 1, 2009