Understanding self-reported importance of religion/spirituality in a North American sample of individuals at risk for familial depression: A principal component analysis

Autoři: Connie Svob aff001;  Lidia Y. X. Wong aff002;  Marc J. Gameroff aff001;  Priya J. Wickramaratne aff001;  Myrna M. Weissman aff001;  Jürgen Kayser aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States of America aff001;  New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York, United States of America aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224141


Several studies have shown protective effects between health outcomes and subjective reports of religious/spiritual (R/S) importance, as measured by a single self-report item. In a 3-generation study of individuals at high or low familial risk for depression, R/S importance was found to be protective against depression, as indicated by clinical and neurobiological outcomes. The psychological components underlying these protective effects, however, remain little understood. Hence, to clarify the meaning of answering the R/S importance item, we employed a comprehensive set of validated scales assessing religious beliefs and experiences and exploratory factor analysis to uncover latent R/S constructs that strongly and independently correlated with the single-item measure of R/S importance. A Varimax-rotated principal component analysis (PCA) resulted in a 23-factor solution (Eigenvalue > 1; 71.5% explained variance) with 8 factors that, respectively, accounted for at least 3% of the total variance. The first factor (15.8%) was directly related to the R/S importance item (r = .819), as well as personal relationship with the Divine, forgiveness by God, religious activities, and religious coping, while precluding gratitude, altruism, and social support, among other survey subscales. The corresponding factor scores were greater in older individuals and those at low familial risk. Moreover, Spearman rank-order correlations between the R/S importance item and other subscales revealed relative consistency across generations and risk groups. Taken together, the single R/S importance item constituted a robust measure of what may be generally conceived of as “religious importance,” ranking highest among a diverse latent factor structure of R/S. As this suggests adequate single-item construct validity, it may be adequate for use in health studies lacking the resources for more extensive measures. Nonetheless, given that this single item accounted for only a small fraction of the total survey variance, results based on the item should be interpreted and applied with caution.

Klíčová slova:

Altruistic behavior – Depression – Factor analysis – Gratitude – Mental health and psychiatry – principal component analysis – Religion – Surveys


1. Koenig HG. Religion, spirituality, and health: The research and clinical implications. ISRN, Article ID 278730. 2012: 1–33. doi: 10.5402/2012/278730 23762764

2. Hoffman S, Marsiglia F. The impact of religiosity on suicidal ideation among youth in central Mexico. J Relig Health. 2014;53(1): 255–266. doi: 10.1007/s10943-012-9654-1 23054483

3. Kendler KS, Gardner CO, Prescott CA. Religion, psychopathology, and substance use and abuse; a multimeasure, genetic-epidemiologic study. Am J Psychiatry. 1997;154(3): 322–329. doi: 10.1176/ajp.154.3.322 9054778

4. Koenig HG, King DE, Carson VB. Handbook of Religion and Health. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2012.

5. Larson DB, Larson SS. Spirituality's potential relevance to physical and emotional health: A brief review of quantitative research. J Psychol Theol. 2003;31(1): 37–51.

6. Nishi D, Susukida R, Kuroda N, Wilcox HC. The association of personal importance of religion and religious service attendance with suicidal ideation by age group in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Psychiatry Res. 2017;255: 321–327. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.06.007 28601715

7. Rasic D, Kisely S, Langille DB. Protective associations of importance of religion and frequency of service attendance with depression risk, suicidal behaviours and substance use in adolescents in Nova Scotia, Canada. J Affect Disord. 2011;132(3): 389–395. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.03.007 21458077

8. Liu J, Svob C, Wickramaratne P, Hao X, Talati A, Kayser J et al. Neuroanatomical correlates of familial risk-for-depression and religiosity/spirituality. Spirituality Clin Pract. 2017;4(1): 32–42. doi: 10.1037/scp0000123 28642885

9. Miller L, Bansal R, Wickramaratne P, Hao X, Tenke CE, Weissman MM et al. Neuroanatomical correlates of religiosity and spirituality. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(2): 128–135. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.3067 24369341

10. Miller L, Warner V, Wickramaratne P, Weissman MM. Religiosity and depression: Ten-year follow-up of depressed mothers and offspring. J AM Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997;36(10): 1416–1425. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199710000-00024 9334555

11. Miller L, Wickramaratne P, Gameroff MJ, Sage M, Tenke CE, Weissman MM. Religiosity and major depression in adults at high risk: A ten-year prospective study. Am J Psychiatry. 2012;169(1): 89–94. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2011.10121823 21865527

12. Svob C, Reich L, Wickramaratne P, Warner V, Weissman MM. Religion and spirituality predict lower rates of suicide attempts and ideation in children and adolescents at risk for major depressive disorder. Supplement to the J AM Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2016a;55(10): S251. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2016.09.464

13. Svob C, Wang Z, Weissman MM, Wickramaratne P, Posner J. Religious and spiritual importance moderate relation between Default Mode Network connectivity and familial risk for depression. Neurosci Lett. 2016b;634: 94–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2016.10.009.

14. Svob C, Wickramaratne P, Reich L, Zhao R, Talati A, Gameroff MJ et al. Association of parent and offspring religiosity with offspring suicide ideation and attempts. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(10): 1062. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.2060. 30090928

15. Tenke CE, Kayser J, Miller L, Warner V, Wickramaratne P, Weissman MM et al. Neuronal generators of posterior EEG alpha reflect individual differences in prioritizing personal spirituality. Biol Psychol. 2013;94(2): 426–32. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2013.08.001 23998996

16. Tenke CE, Kayser J, Svob C, Miller L, Alvarenga JE, Abraham K et al. Association of posterior EEG alpha with prioritization of religion or spirituality: A replication and extension at 20-year follow-up. Biol Psychol. 2017;124: 79–86. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2017.01.005 28119066

17. Anderson M, Miller L, Wickramaratne P, Svob C, Odgerel Z, Zhao R et al. Genetic correlates of spirituality/religion and depression: A study in offspring and grandchildren at high and low familial risk for depression. Spiritual. Clin. Pract. 2017;4(1): 43–63. doi: 10.1037/scp0000125 29057276

18. Weissman MM, Berry OO, Warner V, Gameroff MJ, Skipper J, Talati A et al. A 30-year study of 3 generations at high risk and low risk for depression. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016a;73(9): 970–977. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1586 27532344

19. Weissman MM, Wickramaratne P, Gameroff MJ, Warner V, Pilowsky D, Kohad RJ et al. Offspring of depressed parents: 30 years later. Am J Psychiatry. 2016b;173(10): 1024–1032. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.15101327 27113122

20. Fetzer Institute/National Institute on Aging Working Group. Multidimensional measurement of religiousness/spirituality for use in health research. Kalamazoo: John E. Fetzer Institute; 2003.

21. Hood R. The construction and preliminary validation of a measure of reported mystical experience. J Sci Study Relig. 1975;14(1): 29. doi: 10.2307/1384454

22. Hill P, Hood R. Measures of religiosity. Birmingham, Ala.: Religious Education Press; 1999.

23. Hill P, Pargament K. Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of religion and spirituality: Implications for physical and mental health research. Am Psychol. 2003;58(1): 64–74. doi: 10.1037/0003-066x.58.1.64 12674819

24. Idler E, Musick M, Ellison C, George L, Krause N, Ory M et al. Measuring multiple dimensions of religion and spirituality for health research. Res Aging. 2003;25(4): 327–365. doi: 10.1177/0164027503025004001

25. Koenig HG. Concerns about measuring "spirituality" in research. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2008;196(5): 349–355. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31816ff796 18477877

26. MacDonald DA. Spirituality: Description, measurement, and relation to the Five Factor Model of personality. J Pers. 2000;68(1): 153–197. doi: 10.1111/1467-6494.t01-1-00094 10820684

27. McClintock CH, Anderson M, Svob C, Wickramaratne P, Neugebauer R, Miller L et al. Multidimensional understanding of religiosity/spirituality: Relationship to major depression and familial risk. Psychol Med. 2018: 1–10. doi: 10.1017/s0033291718003276 30419987

28. McClintock CH, Lau E, Miller L. Phenotypic dimensions of spirituality: Implications for mental health in China, India, and the United States. Front Psychol. 2016;7: 1600. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01600 27833570

29. Koenig HG. Research on religion, spirituality, and mental health: A review. Can J Psychiatry. 2009;54(5): 283–291. doi: 10.1177/070674370905400502 19497160

30. Zinnbauer BJ, Pargament KI, Scott AB. The emerging meanings of religiousness and spirituality: Problems and prospects. J Pers. 1999;67(6): 889–919. doi: 10.1111/1467-6494.00077

31. Landmark Spirituality & Health Survey [Internet]. c2015. http://landmarkspirituality.sph.umich.edu/.

32. Hill PC, Pargament KI. Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of religion and spirituality: Implications for physical and mental health research. Psychol. Religion Spiritual. 2008;S(1): 3–17. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1941-1022.S.1.3.

33. Bussing A, Matthiessen PF, Ostermann T. Engagement of patients in religious and spiritual practices: Confirmatory results with the SpREUK-P 1.1 questionnaire as a tool of quality of life research. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2005;3(53). doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-3-53 16144546

34. Blaine B, Crocker J. Religiousness, race, and psychological well-being: Exploring social psychological mediators. Pers Soc Psychol Rev. 1995;21(10): 1031–1041. doi: 10.1177/01461672952110004

35. Delaney C. The Spirituality Scale: Development and psychometric testing of a holistic instrument to assess the human spiritual dimension. J. Holist. Nurs. 2005;23(2): 145–167. doi: 10.1177/0898010105276180 15883463

36. Koenig HG, Büssing A. The Duke University Religion Index (DUREL): A five-item measure for use in epidemological studies. Religions. 2010;1(1): 78–85. doi: 10.3390/rel1010078

37. Levin J, Kaplan BH. The Sorokin Multidimensional Inventory of Love Experience (SMILE): Development, validation, and religious determinants. Rev. Religious Res. 2010;54(4): 380–401.

38. Cloninger CR. The temperament and character inventory (TCI): a guide to its development and use. St. Louis, MO: Center for Psychobiology of Personality, Washington University; 1994.

39. Seidlitz L, Abernethy AD, Duberstein PR, Evinger JS, Chang TH, Lewis BL. Development of the spiritual transcendence index. J Sci Study Religion. 2002;41(3): 439–453. doi: 10.1111/1468-5906.00129

40. Buuren S, Groothuis-Oudshoorn K. Mice: Multivariate imputation by chained equations in R. J Stat Softw. 2011;45(3): 1–67.

41. Kaiser H. The varimax criterion for analytic rotation in factor analysis. Psychometrika. 1958;23(3): 187–200. doi: 10.1007/bf02289233

42. Hendrickson A, White P. Promax: A quick method for rotation to oblique simple structure. Br. J. Math. Stat. Psychol. 1964;17(1): 65–70. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8317.1964.tb00244.x

43. Lorenzo-Seva U, ten Berge JMF. Tucker's congruence coefficient as a meaningful index of factor similarity. Methodology. 2006;2(2): 57–64. doi: 10.1027/1614-2241.2.2.57

44. Vittengl JR. A lonely search?: Risk for depression when spirituality exceeds religiosity. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2018;206(5): 386–389. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000815 29652773

45. Leurent B, Nazareth I, Bellon-Saameno J, Geerlings M-I, Maaroos H, Saldivia S et al. Spiritual and religious beliefs as risk factors for the onset of major depression: an international cohort study. Psychol. Med. 2013 Oct;43(10): 2109–2120. doi: 10.1017/S0033291712003066 23360581

46. King M, Marston L, McManus S, Brugha T, Meltzer H, Bebbington P. Religion, spirituality and mental health: results from a national study of English households. The British Journal of Psychiatry. 2013 Jan;202(1): 68–73. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.112.112003 23174516

47. Nelson-Becker H. Development of a spiritual support scale for use with older adults. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment. 2005; 11(3–4): 195–212. doi: 10.1300/J137v11n03_10

48. Armstrong TD. Exploring spirituality: The development of the Armstrong Measure of Spirituality. In: Jones RL, editor. Handbook of tests and measurements for black populations (Vol. 2). Hampton, VA: Cobb and Henry; 1996. pp. 105–115.

49. Ellison CW. Spiritual well-being: Conceptualization and measurement. J Psychol Theol. 1983 Dec;11(4): 330–340. https://doi.org/10.1177/009164718301100406.

50. Guadagnoli E, Velicer WF. Relation of sample size to the stability of component patterns. Psychological Bulletin. 1988 Mar;103(2):265–275. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.103.2.265 3363047

51. Osborne JW, Costello AB. Sample size and subject to item ratio in principal components analysis. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation. 2004 Jun;9:11. https://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=9&n=11

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 10
Nejčtenější tento týden