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Meaning, purpose, and religiosity in at-risk youth: the relationship between anxiety and spirituality.

This study investigated the relationship between spiritual well-being and anxiety in at-risk adolescents. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Spiritual Well-Being Scale, a revised version of the Allport-Ross Religious Orientation Scale, and the Social Provisions Scale were administered to 45 male and female high school students who were considered to be at-risk. The research found that the higher the spiritual well-being, existential well-being, religions well-being and intrinsic religious orientation were among males, the lower the anxiety. Only lower existential well-being was associated with lower anxiety among females. Spiritual well-being and female gender were found to be the best predictors of anxiety from the variables studied.


Psychologists are starting to recognize the role that religion and spirituality can play in emotional well-being. Psychology has traditionally held a negative view of spirituality. Psychologists and psychiatrists from Freud to Ellis have viewed religious orientation as "irrational" and as a "crutch for people who can't handle life" (Clay, 1996, p. 1). However, this view is changing. Research has shown that spirituality and religion may actually enhance mental health in many cases. Spirituality has been shown to be associated with several positive psychological outcomes including subjective well-being (Witter, Stock, Okun, & Haring, 1985), self-esteem (Falbo & Shepperd, 1986), physical health (Gottlieb & Green, 1984) and marital satisfaction (Glenn & Weaver, 1978). Lack of spirituality has been associated with several negative behavioral and psychological outcomes including depression (Wright, Frost, and Wisecarver, 1993), substance abuse (Maton & Zimmerman, 1992), and suicide and anxiety (Baker & Gorsuch, 1982; Gartner, Larson, & Allen, 1991; Sturgeon & Hamley, 1979).

Frankl (1984) recognized that the personal belief that one's life fulfills some higher purpose and serves some higher power is of enormous psychogenic value, "There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one's life" (p. 126). Frankl believed this psychotherapeutic value held true for not only adults but also adolescents (Dienelt, 1984). Spirituality or religious beliefs can cultivate a belief in adolescents that their life has meaning, and that they have some control over their fate (Werner, 1984).

Spirituality can also contribute to the adoption of a positive cognitive appraisal of negative life events (Martin & Carlson, 1988; Maton, 1989). Religion or spirituality can provide an "overarching interpretive scheme" (Peterson & Roy, 1985, p. 51) that allows an individual to perceive his or her individual circumstances against a larger cohesive backdrop of order and normality.

The Relationship Between Spirituality and Anxiety

Researchers have studied the relationship between spirituality and anxiety in several different populations, with the notable exception of adolescents. Kaczorowski (1989) investigated this relationship in adults who had been diagnosed with cancer using the Spiritual Well-Being Scale, which distinguishes between the religious and existential dimensions of spirituality, and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory which differentiates between transitory (state) and characteristic (trait) anxiety. An inverse relationship was found between spiritual well-being and state-trait (total) anxiety. This finding held true when controlling for age, gender and marital status. A closer examination of spiritual well-being revealed that lower levels of existential well-being were associated with state and trait anxiety more so than lower levels of religious well being. This suggests that for some people meaning and purpose in life exceed traditional religious beliefs in terms of how these variables relate to anxiety.

Sturgeon and Hamley (1979) examined the relationship between anxiety and intrinsic (genuine and committed) religious orientation and extrinsic (when religion is used superficially for personal gain) religious orientation using the State-Trait Anxiety Scale and the Allport/Ross Religious Orientation Scale. They found that the intrinsically oriented sample was less anxious on trait anxiety than the extrinsically oriented sample, but no differences were found on state anxiety. Using the same instruments, Baker and Gorsuch (1982) had nearly identical results; intrinsic religious orientation was negatively correlated with trait anxiety and extrinsic religious orientation was positively correlated with trait anxiety.

Rogalski and Paisey (1987) studied life satisfaction among retirees and found that religious and devoutly religious respondents, regardless of religious orientation, reported higher levels of life satisfaction than non-religious persons. A step-wise multiple regression analysis showed that only three variables emerged as significant predictors of life satisfaction: trait anxiety (accounting for 38.9% of variance), religious commitment (accounting for 5.1% of variance) and state anxiety (accounting for 2% of variance). Religious commitment, while accounting for only a small portion of the variance, was still a stronger predictor of life satisfaction in this population than health status, socio-economic status, age and all other predictor variables.

While recent research supports an association between religious/spiritual commitment and lower anxiety, some research has shown a relationship between religiousness/spirituality and higher anxiety (Spellman, Baskett & Byrne, 1971; Wilson & Miller, 1968). Other studies have shown no relationship (Heintzelman & Fehr, 1976). The mixed conclusions as to the nature of religion's relationship with anxiety can be partially explained by looking at the simplistic definitions of religion in past research (Baker & Gorsuch, 1982). Different studies will have sharply different findings depending on how the spiritual variable is defined. If religion is defined by the "sinners-in-the-hands-of-an-angry-God" philosophy, individuals will tend to have poorer mental health outcomes. In contrast, if religion is defined by a "loving God" orientation in which God is seen as a compassionate partner who works with people to provide guidance and support, individuals will tend to experience less anxiety (Clay, 1996). Given the variations in how religion is defined, "the more useful question to ask is how a person is religious rather than whether a person is religious" (Payne, Bergin, Bielma, & Jenkins, 1991, p. 11).

The purpose of this study is to empirically examine the question of whether spirituality and/or religiosity has an important relationship to anxiety in at-risk adolescents. Specifically, this study addressed two questions. The first question asked to what extent trait anxiety, as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger, 1983), would be related to three variablea: (a) spiritual well-being, as measured by the Spiritual Well Being Scale (Ellison, 1983); (b) intrinsic religious orientation, as measured by the Allport Ross Religious Orientation Scale (Allport & Ross, 1967); and (c) social support, as measured by the Social Provisions Scale (Cutrona, 1989). Social support was included in the study because of its documented inverse relationship with anxiety (Cobb, 1976; Cobb, 1979; Cohen & McKay, 1984; Cohen and Willis, 1985; Thoits, 1982). The second question asked to what extent trait anxiety could be uniquely accounted for by spiritual well-being, intrinsic religious orientation, and social support.

Spirituality and Anxiety in At-Risk Adolescents

Werner (1984) found one of the four central characteristics of resilient children to be "a strong ability to use faith in order to maintain a positive vision of a meaningful life" (p. 69). Adolescents who lack perceived purpose are often more likely to engage in at-risk behaviors such as unsafe sexual behavior, delinquency, substance abuse and suicide (McWhirter, McWhirter, McWhirter, & McWhirter, 1993). Therefore spiritual and religious beliefs, in helping adolescents attach meaning to their existence, may have psychotherapeutic value. Given the many challenges to the healthy development of at-risk youth, it is important to understand whether spiritual and religious variables may enhance healthy psychological development. The role of religion and spirituality as it affects the mental health of adolescents, particularly at-risk youth, is an area which is not fully understood and which promises to be fruitful for research. (Wright, Frost, & Wisecarver, 1993).

At-risk adolescents can be defined as young men and women between the ages of 13 and 19 who (a) live in an impoverished economic setting, (b) exhibit poor school work, (c) display characteristics of low self-esteem, (d) exhibit a propensity for risk-taking behavior (e.g., unsafe sexual practices substance abuse, delinquency), or (e) who are exposed to models for deviant behavior (Jessor, 1991). Minority status is another characteristic of being "at-risk" due to the personal injustice and prejudice encountered by minority youth (Spencer, Cole, DuPree, Glymph, & Pierre, 1993). These at-risk characteristics put these adolescents at a disadvantage for successfully completing appropriate developmental tasks (e.g., high school completion, employment, physical and emotional maturation) (Jessor, 1991). Although the levels of anxiety typically experienced by at-risk adolescents have not been quantified, it is reasonable to expect this population to experience a heightened sense of trait anxiety regarding their disadvantaged circumstances and impaired opportunities for a fulfilling life.

Definitions of Spirituality and Religiosity

In order to study constructs as abstract as spirituality and religiosity they must first be defined. Several authors have defined spirituality as being closely related to transcendence, but without specific reference to formal religious doctrine. Ellison's (1983) existential conceptualization is "the capacity to find purpose and meaning beyond one's self and the immediate ..." (p. 338). Miller and Martin (1988) describe spirituality more traditionally as the inner experience of "acknowledging a transcendent being, power of reality greater than ourselves" (p. 200). Both of these definitions are relevant to this study because both existential and traditional conceptualizations of spirituality were examined.

Religiosity, on the other hand, connotes allegiance to a particular system of faith and worship. Religious beliefs are characterized by adherence to a set of sacred doctrines or membership in a body of people who share similar beliefs about God, holy observance, and morality. Religiosity shares many attributes with the concept of spirituality; however, religiosity adds an element of theological structure and formality not present in spirituality. While religiosity and spirituality can be conceptualized as separate constructs, they are, in reality, more overlapping than distinct. In many cases religiosity provides a structure conducive to spirituality. In other cases spiritual growth is pursued outside the context of a religious framework.



Forty-five students, 25 girls and 20 boys, participated in workshops titled Talented At-Risk Girls: Encouragement and Training for Sophomores (TARGETS), a research-through-service program sponsored by the National Science Foundation. These workshops were offered to students who were considered at-risk for a variety of reasons including economically impoverished family background, minority status, lack of support or encouragement (lack of role models), frequent acting-out and other delinquent behaviors, of not achieving academic potential. Participants were also to be considered by teachers to be talented in at least one academic or have leadership potential. Ages ranged from 14 to 17 with a mean age of 15.2 years (SD = .92). Sixteen were high school freshmen, 21 sophomores, 6 juniors, and 2 did not indicate grade level. The sample was ethnically diverse: 12 Hispanic, 16 White, 5 African American, 4 American Indian, 2 Asian/Pacific Islander, and 6 multiethnic. When asked about religious affiliation, 18 indicated that they were Catholic, 6 Protestant, 2 Mormon, 1 Jewish, 7 other Christian, 5 no religion, and 5 did not respond.


Students completed a demographic sheet, career and personality inventories for career counseling, and the four instruments for this study. These four included the Trait subscale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI; Spielberger, 1983), the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS; Ellison & Smith, 1991), the Allport/Ross Religious Orientation Scale (ROS; Allport & Ross, 1967), and the Social Provisions Scale (SPS; Cutrona & Russell, 1987).

State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. The STAI consists of two scales, one for State Anxiety (S-anxiety) and one for Trait Anxiety (T-anxiety). In this study, only the T-anxiety scale was administered. Trait anxiety is the construct of interest because the anxiety associated with being an at-risk adolescent is more enduring (trait), rather than variable from situation to situation (state). The T-anxiety scale consists of 20 statements that evaluate how respondents generally feel. For example, subjects respond on a scale of one (not at all) to four (very much so) to statements such as "I feel nervous and restless" and "I feel like a failure." Scores can range from a minimum of 20 to a maximum of 80 with higher scores indicating higher trait anxiety. In 1983 Spielberger published a revised form, Form Y, of these two scales. In Form Y, 30% of the original items were replaced with items that yielded stronger psychometric properties. Test-retest reliability for T-anxiety was reported as ranging from .65 to .86, indicating that it is a relatively stable dimension of personality. Spielberger also reported evidence of concurrent validity with strong correlations between the T-anxiety scale and the IPAT Anxiety Scale and the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale. The T-anxiety scale also discriminated between psychiatric patients and normal controls and between participants in high and low stress conditions. The STAI has been used previously to study troubled adolescents (Hillary & Schare, 1993; Ohring, Apter, Ratzoni, Weizman, Tyano, & Plutchik, 1996).

The Spiritual Well-Being Scale. Ellison and Smith (1991) conceptualized spiritual well-being as having two dimensions. One dimension (religious well-being) refers to one's sense of well-being in relation to "God," and the other (existential well-being) refers to a sense of life purpose and life satisfaction with no reference to anything specifically religious. It is noteworthy that Spiritual well-being is not necessarily indicative of spiritual maturity since one can experience very positive spiritual well-being at a low level of maturity (Ellison, 1983).

The SWBS consists of 20 items responded to on a seven-point Likert-type scale. Ten items measure religious well-being (RWB), assessed by items such as "I believe that God is concerned about my problems" and "I believe God loves me and cares about me." Separately, ten of the items measure existential well-being (EWB). Sample items for this subscale include "I feel good about my future" and "I believe there is some real purpose for my life." These two subscales can be summed to form one measure of spiritual well-being (TOTSWB). This total score can range from 20 to 120 with higher scores indicating greater spiritual well-being.

Test-retest reliability for the three are .93 for TOTSWB, .96 for RWB, and .86 for EWB. Coefficient alphas have been reported as .89 for TOTSWB, .87 for RWB, and .78 for EWB. Factor analyses (Ledbetter, Smith, Fischer, Vosler-Hunter, & Chew,1991; Scott, Agresti, & Fitchett, 1998) found that a two factor model (religious and existential well-being) was insufficient to explain the spiritual well-being construct. However, positive correlations with other measures of religious affiliation and negative correlations with depression, psychopathology and loneliness (Ellison, 1983; Ellison & Smith, 1991) have provided evidence for construct validity.

In the review of literature on the SWBS, no specific validity data was found on adolescents. However, spirituality has been widely studied in this population. Spiritual characteristics have been investigated among adolescents for their relationships to delinquency (Chadwick & Top, 1993), identity formation (Markstrom-Adams, & Hofstra, 1994) and problem behaviors (Jagers, 1996). Spirituality appears to be an appropriate construct for study among adolescents as evidenced by the finding that 53% claim their "religion or faith" to be one of the most important parts of their lives (Brightman 1994).

The Allport /Ross Religious Orientation Scale. The Allport/Ross Religious Orientation Scale (Allport & Ross, 1967; Robinson & Shaver, 1973) has been called "the backbone of empirical research in the psychology of religion" (Wright, Frost, & Wisecarver, 1993, p. 562). Although the original scale was designed to separately measure both intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity, recent factor analyses have challenged this two factor structure. Both Genia (1993) and Kirkpatrick (1989) observed the failure of the extrinsic items to form a single scale and proposed a three factor structure consisting of a single intrinsic factor and two extrinsic factors. Based on this and on the small number of extrinsic items, only the intrinsic scale was used in this study.

Genia (1993) reported internal consistency of .86 for the intrinsic subscale. Subjects responded on a nine point scale to items such as "My religious beliefs are what really lie behind my whole approach to life" and "It is important to me to spend periods of time in private religious thought." Scores can range from nine to 45 with higher scores indicating higher intrinsic religiosity.

Social Provisions Scale. Based on the theories of Weiss (1974), this instrument measures six social provisions: Attachment (caring), social integration (belonging to a group of similar others), reliable alliance (tangible assistance), guidance (advise and information), reassurance of worth (positive evaluation), and opportunity for nurturance (providing support to others). The 24-item SPS measures total social support and the extent to which each of these six social provisions is available from a specific source. Subjects respond on a four point scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree to items such as "There are people I can depend on to help me if I really need it" and "I feel a strong emotional bond with at least one other person.

Cutrona and Russell (1987) reported alpha coefficients ranging from .65. to .76 for the six subscales and .92 for the total scale. Validity has been established by correlating the SPS with various other support scales and through factor analysis. In this study, the total score was used as a measure of social support. Scores can range from 24 to 96 with higher scores indicating more social provisions.


Prior to analyzing the research questions, we tested potential gender differences. The males and females differed on trait anxiety with females having higher trait anxiety (M = 46.62) than the males (M = 39.44), t(43) = -2.66, p < .01. The female mean placed in the 74th percentile of high school females, while the male mean placed in the 47th percentile of high school males (Spielberger, 1983). Since anxiety is a key variable in all of the research questions, we analyzed participants by gender. We found no other gender differences on any of the study measures. Means and standard deviations on the study measures for males and females are presented in Table 1.

The first research question asked whether there were significant relationships between anxiety and spiritual well-being, intrinsic religious orientation, and social support. The Pearson product moment correlation coefficient between trait anxiety and spiritual well-being for the males was significant, r = -.58, p < .01. The trait anxiety scores of males were also significantly related to intrinsic religious orientation, r = -.45, p < .05. No relationship was found between trait anxiety and social support for the males. For the females, none of the correlations was significant.

We used a backward multiple regression to analyze the second question, addressing the extent to which trait anxiety could be accounted for by the spiritual/religious variables and social support. First, however, signs of non-normality, curvilinearity, non-constant error variance, and outliers were investigated. All assumptions required for the regression equation were met. The backward regression revealed that the two significant predictors of trait anxiety were spiritual well-being ([beta] = -.38, p < .01) and gender ([beta] = .30, p < .05), accounting for nearly 28% of the variance in trait anxiety, F (2, 42) = 8.06, p < .01 (Table 2).

To better understand the relationship between spiritual well-being and trait anxiety, we analyzed the two subscales comprising spiritual well-being: existential well-being and religious well-being. Males reported significantly higher existential well-being (M = 46.80) than did females (M = 41.67), t(43) = 2.43, p < .05, although there were no gender differences for religious well-being. The trait anxiety scores were negatively correlated with existential well-being for both males (r = -.48, p < .05) and females (r = -.39, p < .05). Religious well-being was negatively related to trait anxiety only for males (r = -56, p < .01). Then we reanalyzed the backward regression using existential well-being, religious well-being and gender as predictors. Only existential well-being ([beta] = -.51, p < .01) was a significant predictor of trait anxiety, accounting for 27% of the variance (Table 3).


Spirituality and religiosity may moderate anxiety in adolescents (Dienelt, 1984; Hacker, 1994; Werner, 1984). The current study supported this view in that greater spiritual well-being predicted lower trait anxiety among at-risk adolescents. Caution should be used in interpreting this study. The sample cannot be considered representative of at-risk adolescents, therefore results should not be generalized too broadly.

Preliminary analyses showed that female participants had higher trait anxiety scores than male participants. This finding is consistent with the literature (Kendler, Neale, Kessler, Heath, & Eaves, 1992; Lewinsohn, Gotlib, Lewinsohn, Seeley, & Allen, 1998; Yonkers & Gurguis, 1995). The female participants' higher trait anxiety may be, in part, attributable to the differences in the way males and females are traditionally socialized. Noble (1994) wrote that women are socialized to "drift until someone else provides a solution, and to exchange [their] vitality and independence for a life of safety, passivity, and acquiescence to the status quo" (p. 72). Young women also encounter more barriers to personal, professional and financial achievement than young boys, including training subtly geared to lower status for girls, prejudicial treatment in school, discrimination in the workplace and lack of resources (Kerr, 1994). These barriers, particularly prejudicial and discriminatory treatment, are even more imposing for young women of color, who composed over half of the female sample in this study. This perilous combination of socialization toward passivity and institutional hurdles could contribute to the higher trait anxiety observed in the current study.

Another contributing factor to the higher anxiety scores among female participants may be the drop in self-esteem that many girls experience during adolescence. In a study commissioned by the American Association for University Women it was found that both boys and girls experience a decline in self-esteem during the teen years, but the drop for girls is much more dramatic (American Association for University Women/Greenberg-Lake, 1991). The biggest difference between girls and boys in the study was in their own perceived ability to accomplish things with boys being more willing to dream bigger career dreams and more likely to believe their dreams could come true than girls. The consequences of this learning for at-risk girls is dramatic; if at-risk girls, with all the extra challenges and obstacles they encounter, are less likely to believe they can overcome those obstacles than at-risk boys, then surely they will suffer a heightened level of anxiety about their future and their chances for a meaningful life.

There were no gender differences on any of the other predictor variables (spiritual well-being, religious well-being, intrinsic religious orientation of social support).

Although participants' trait anxiety and spiritual well-being were negatively related to each other among males, no significant relationship between trait anxiety and spiritual well-being was found for females. In the literature spirituality has been found to be negatively associated with anxiety (Kaczorowski, 1989).

The current study's lack of a relationship between spiritual well-being and trait anxiety among females may be attributable to the females' higher trait anxiety scores. It is possible that spiritual well-being is negatively related to trait anxiety only within a moderate range of trait anxiety scores.

We also anticipated that trait anxiety would be negatively related to intrinsic religious orientation. Again, this was true for males, but not for females. This finding among males is consistent with other studies that have found a relationship between intrinsic religious orientation and trait anxiety (Sturgeon & Hamley, 1979; Baker and Gorsuch, 1982). Like the absence of a relationship between trait anxiety and spiritual well-being, the iack of a relationship between trait anxiety and intrinsic religious orientation may be attributable to the females' higher trait anxiety scores, as discussed above.

Trait anxiety and level of social support had no relationship for males or females. This finding is inconsistent with social support's documented relationship with a wide variety of psychological outcomes, including an inverse relationship with anxiety (Cobb, 1976; Cobb, 1979; Cohen & McKay, 1984; Cohen and Willis, 1985; Thoits, 1982). Certain types of social support may contribute to positive psychological outcomes because it provides a sense of predictability, stability and a sense of self-worth, all of which can be conducive to lowering trait anxiety. However, the level of social support experienced by these at-risk adolescents may be below a threshold required for the creation of stability and predictability.

In the regression results, total spiritual well-being and gender were the best predictors of trait anxiety in this sample of at-risk adolescents. These two variables accounted for slightly less than 28% of the variability in trait anxiety scores.

To better understand the relationship between spiritual well-being and trait anxiety we analyzed the two subscales that comprise the total Spiritual Well-Being Scale: existential well-being and religious well-being. First, an examination of mean differences revealed that males had significantly higher existential well-being scores than females, while no difference was found on religious well-being. Females' lower existential well-being scores can be understood in a similar context to that of their higher trait anxiety scores. Just as differences in socialization, self-esteem and the number of barriers encountered by women may produce higher trait anxiety levels in women, these same factors may cause young women to have lower expectations about their futures, manifested in lower existential well-being scores.

An examination of correlations revealed a negative relationship between existential well-being and trait anxiety for both males and females, however, religious well-being was inversely related to trait anxiety only among males. More research is needed to understand the current study's lack of a significant relationship between trait anxiety and religious well-being among females.

Next, we tan another backward regression to help explain whether existential well-being of religious well-being (the two subscales that comprise the Spiritual Well-Being Scale) was more responsible for the value of the spiritual well-being in predicting trait anxiety. Existential well-being, religious well-being and gender (the other significant variable from the first the original regression) were all entered. In this regression, existential well-being was the best predicting of trait anxiety, indicating that existential well-being, not religious well-being, was more responsible for the overall value of spiritual well-being in predicting trait anxiety. This finding explains females' higher trait anxiety scores as being predictable from their lower existential well-being scores. It is consistent with our earlier speculation that females' higher trait anxiety scores are attributable to lower expectations for a meaningful life.

Responses to the existential well-being subscale of the Spiritual Well-Being Scale suggest three key characteristics of at-risk adolescents with lower trait anxiety. First, these participants are focused on their futures. They feel that they are evolving toward something. They have a degree of faith that their lives are unfolding in a positive direction. Second, they believe that life has innate meaning and their life contains some purpose. Third, they perceive life to be a potentially positive and fulfilling experience.

The finding that existential well-being is more predictive of trait anxiety than is religious well-being makes sense when considering that religious beliefs, in and of themselves, do not hold psychogenic value unless they provide a sense of existential well-being; unless they help individuals find some meaning and purpose in their existence; and unless they help people make sense of their past, present and future. Without these provisions, religious beliefs are hollow and lack personal relevance for the believer. Abstract religious beliefs that do not provide a sense of personal meaning and purpose would not be expected to have a negative relationship with anxiety. Rather, religious beliefs provide a possible means to greater existential well-being. Existential well-being is, in turn, associated with lower trait anxiety. This line of thought is supported by the association of higher religious well-being with higher existential well-being.

Future research should include a replication of this study among a representative sample of at-risk adolescents to confirm the overall and gender-specific results. These results suggest that the spiritual variable (particularly the existential dimension of the spiritual variable) and gender have important relationships with anxiety in at-risk adolescents. The findings point to the importance of addressing the spiritual, religious, and existential dimensions of the adolescent psyche when counseling at-risk teens, particularly young women. Whether through value-based vocational counseling, assisting in the exploration of one's relationship with a transcendent power, of facilitating the development of a meaningful vision of the future, counselors can help to alleviate the anxiety and intrapsychic conflict that accompany meaninglessness and lack-of-purpose. By helping at-risk adolescents struggle with concerns about their futures, their spiritual existence, and the ultimate significance of their lives, counselors can facilitate the discovery of meaning and purpose.
Table 1
Comparison of Means

 Males Females


TRAIT ANX 39.44 10.15 46.62 ** 7.98
TOTSWB 93.31 16.69 87.43 13.02
IROS 28.95 9.28 28.88 7.79
TOTSPS 74.39 11.21 77.46 9.19

Note. TRAITANX = Trait Anxiety; TOTSWB = Total Spiritual Well-Being
Scale; IROS = Intrinsic Religious Orientation Scale; TOTSPS = Total
Social Provisions Scale.

* = p < .05. ** = p < .01.

Table 2
Summary of Backward Regression Analysis for Variables
Predicting Trait Anxiety

Variable B SE B [beta] F

Step 1 3.90 **
 GENDER 5.44 2.72 .28 *
 TOTSWB -.28 .13 -.43 *
 IROS .06 .21 .05
 TOTSPS .04 .14 .05

Step 2 5.29 **
 GENDER 5.57 2.65 .29 *
 TOTSWB -.25 .09 -.39 **
 TOTSPS .04 .14 .04

Step 3 8.06 **
 GENDER 5.75 2.56 .30 *
 TOTSWB -.24 .09 -.38 **

Note. [R.sup.2] = .28, for Step 1; [R.sup.2] = .28 for Step 2;
[R.sup.2] = .28 for Step 3. TRAITANX = Trait Anxiety; TOTSWB =
Total Spiritual Weel-being Scale; IROS = Intrinsic Religious
Orientation Scale; TOTSPS = Total Social Provisions Scale.

* = p < .05 ** p = < .01.

Table 3
Summary of Second Backward Regression Analysis
for Variables Predicting Trait Anxiety

Variable B SE B [beta] F

Step 1 6.18 **
 GENDER 4.47 2.68 .23
 RWB -.06 .15 -.06
 EWB -.52 .21 .40 *

Step 2 9.38 **
 GENDER 4.28 2.61 .22
 EWB -.56 .18 -.44 **

Step 3
 EWB -.66 .17 -.51 ** 15.46 **

Note. [R.sup.2] = .31 for Step 1; [R.sup.2] = .31 for Step 2;
[R.sup.2] = .27 for Step 2. GENDER = Sex; RWB = Religious
Well Being; EWB = Existential Well-Being.

* = p < .05. ** p = < .01.


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DAVIS, TIMOTHY L. Address: University of Dayton Counseling Center, 300 Colleg Park, Dayton, OH 45469-0910. Title: Psychologist. Degrees: BA, Indiana University; MC, Arizona State University; PhD, University of Maryland. Specializations: Using dreams in psychotherapy, spiritual health, group psychotherapy, psychological testing and assessment.

KERR, BARBARA A. Address: Box 870611, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-0611. Title: Professor of Psychology in Education. Degrees: BA, PhD, University of Missouri; MA, The Ohio State University. Specializations: Spiritual intelligence, optimal human development, creativity and giftedness, gender studies.

ROBINSON KURPIUS, SHARON E. Address: Counseling and Counseling Psychology, PO Box 870611, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-0611 Title: Professor of Counseling and Counseling Psychology. Degrees: BS, MS, University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse; PhD, Indiana University. Specializations: Women's health issues, at-risk youth, consultation, ethics, spirituality and health,; academic persistence, racial/ethnic minority students.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Timothy L. Davis, now at the University of Dayton Counseling Center, 300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45469-0910. Email:

TIMOTHY L. DAVIS, BARBARA A. KERR, and SHARON E. ROBINSON KURPIUS Arizona State University, Division of Psychology in Education
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Author:Kurpius, Sharon E. Robinson
Publication:Journal of Psychology and Theology
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 22, 2003
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