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Religions 2016, 7(6), 68; doi:10.3390/rel7060068

Bifactor Models of Religious and Spiritual Struggles: Distinct from Religiousness and Distress

1
Department of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
2
Department of Psycholog, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Arndt Büssing
Received: 5 March 2016 / Revised: 24 May 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 7 June 2016
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Abstract

The Religious and Spiritual Struggles Scale (RSS) measures important psychological constructs in an underemphasized section of the overlap between religion and well-being. Are religious/spiritual struggles distinct from religiousness, distress, and each other? To test the RSS’ internal discriminant validity, we replicated the original six-factor measurement model across five large samples (N = 5705) and tested the fit of a restricted bifactor model, which supported the mutual viability of multidimensional and unidimensional scoring systems for the RSS. Additionally, we explored a bifactor model with correlated group factors that exhibited optimal fit statistics. This model maintained the correlations among the original factors while extracting a general factor from the RSS. This general factor’s strong correlations with religious participation and belief salience suggested that this factor resembles religiousness itself. Estimating this general factor seemed to improve Demonic and Moral struggles’ independence from religiousness, but did not change any factor’s correlations with neuroticism, depression, anxiety, and stress. These distress factors correlated with most of the independent group factors corresponding to the original dimensions of the RSS, especially Ultimate Meaning and Divine struggles. These analyses demonstrate the discriminant validity of religious/spiritual struggles and the complexity of their relationships with religiousness and distress. View Full-Text
Keywords: religion; spirituality; struggle; bifactor; measurement; latent; confirmatory factor analysis; distress; depression; anxiety religion; spirituality; struggle; bifactor; measurement; latent; confirmatory factor analysis; distress; depression; anxiety
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Stauner, N.; Exline, J.J.; Grubbs, J.B.; Pargament, K.I.; Bradley, D.F.; Uzdavines, A. Bifactor Models of Religious and Spiritual Struggles: Distinct from Religiousness and Distress. Religions 2016, 7, 68.

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