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Keywords:

  • spirituality;
  • religion;
  • values;
  • measurement;
  • assessment

Abstract

Previous research shows religiosity (across several religions) is associated with conservative values (tradition, conformity and security) from the Schwartz value scale and not with spiritually oriented, self-transcendent values. The relationship between religiosity and spirituality is controversial. We developed a 48-item scale, the Spiritual Connection Questionnaire (SCQ)-48, to measure experience and beliefs of spiritual connection, an aspect of spirituality that is consistent with religious and non-religious or New Age interpretations of spirituality. We selected 14 items (SCQ-14) that best predicted health and then tested the correlation between the SCQ-14 and the SVS in a student and an older population in the UK. In both populations the SCQ-14 was negatively associated with values at the self-enhancing value pole (power, security and hedonism) and in the older population was positively associated with a value at the self-transcendent value pole (universalism, but not benevolence). Religiosity has been shown to be associated with values that enhance societal identification and hence inter-group differentiation and conflict. By contrast, we found that the experience of spiritual connection is associated with values that reduce inter-group differentiation. Despite these differences, we found that self-reported religiosity enhances spiritual experience. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.