- freely available
Religions 2016, 7(6), 68; doi:10.3390/rel7060068
- Divine: conflict or insecurity in one’s relationship with God
- Demonic: persecution or temptation by the devil or evil spirits
- Interpersonal: conflicts with people or groups related to religion/spirituality
- Moral: concerns with the morality of one’s actions and desires
- Ultimate Meaning: doubting the importance, purpose, or meaning of one’s life as a whole
- Doubt: discomfort with religious or spiritual doubts and questions
1.1. Measurement Methodology
1.1.1. Model Configuration
1.1.2. Model Estimation
1.1.3. Measurement Invariance
1.2. The Present Study
2.1. Participants and Procedure
2.1.1. Amazon Mechanical Turk Samples
2.2.1. Religious and Spiritual Struggles (RSS) Scale 
Religious Belief Salience (RBS) 
Religious Participation (RP) 
Center for Epidemiologic Studies—Depression scale (CES-D) 
Generalized Anxiety Disorder Seven-Item Scale (GAD-7) 
Perceived Stress Scale 
Big Five Inventory—Neuroticism Subscale 
3.1. Exclusion Criteria
3.2. Exploratory Factor Analyses of the RSS
3.3. Confirmatory Factor Analyses of the RSS
3.3.1. Original Measurement Model
3.3.2. Restricted Bifactor Measurement Model
3.3.3. Unrestricted Bifactor Measurement Model
3.4. Structural Equation Models with Religiousness and Distress
3.4.1. Exclusion criteria, Measurement Invariance, and Latent Distributional Differences
3.4.2. Latent Correlations
Original RSS Measurement Model
Restricted Bifactor RSS Measurement Model
Unrestricted Bifactor RSS Measurement Model
4.1. Measurement Validation
4.2. Religiousness, Distress, and Discriminant Validity
4.3. Methodological Observations
4.4. Limitations and Future Directions
Conflicts of Interest
|BFI||Big Five Inventory |
|CES-D||Center for Epidemiological Studies—Depression scale |
|CFA||confirmatory factor analysis|
|CFI||comparative fit index|
|MTurk||Amazon Mechanical Turk|
|MWU||Midwestern public university|
|MWR||Midwestern private university|
|PSS||Perceived Stress Scale |
|R/S||religious and spiritual|
|RSS||Religious and Spiritual Struggles Scale |
|RBS||religious belief salience |
|RP||religious participation |
|RMSEA||root mean square error of approximation|
|RMSR||df-corrected root mean square residual|
|SEM||structural equation model|
|ULSMV||unweighted least squares with mean and variance adjustments|
|WLSMV||diagonally weighted least squares with mean and variance adjustments|
|WRMR||weighted root mean square residual|
|WCC||west coastal Christian university|
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- 1If available, the polychoric instrumental variable estimator would offer further improvements on ULSMV estimation.
- 2Throughout we list the lowest-ranked response options first and the highest-ranked options last. Most of our analyses did not treat these data as numeric. When using maximum likelihood estimation, we assigned the lowest-ranked option a value of one and increased this by one unit for each rank (e.g., a five represented the highest-ranked option on a five-point scale).
- 3We used WLSMV estimation for this test of metric invariance because ULSMV could not produce scaled fit statistics for the configural model.
- 4We used unscaled CFIs for this test of metric invariance because neither ULSMV nor WLSMV could compute scaled fit statistics for the configural model. Cheung and Rensvold  did not specify whether their criteria for measurement invariance apply equally to scaled or unscaled fit statistics.
- 5Mplus can use ULSMV with pairwise complete data.
- 6The fourth CES-D item and the 13th RSS item (an interpersonal struggle item) as it loaded on the restricted general factor required freely estimated loadings. These loadings varied more across samples than all others in the configural model (standardized s²λ = 0.03 and 0.02, respectively). Scaling corrections worsened these models’ fit statistics dramatically (∆CFI = −0.218 with partial metric invariance). Without these corrections, these models did not indicate a significant lack of full metric invariance (full metric vs. configural invariance ∆CFI = −0.005).
- 7The configural model failed to calculate scaled fit statistics and robust standard errors, and produced inadmissible parameter estimates in the west coastal Christian university sample. A single-group version with that sample showed no such problems, but failed to converge with the Midwestern public university data using ULSMV or WLSMV estimation. Using ML without polychoric correlations, this model converged with no problems (other than a poor CFI statistic), and the multi-group version established metric invariance (∆CFI = −0.005 vs. configural). Again, scaled fit statistics gave marginally more, technically significant cause for concern (∆CFI = −0.011). We deemed this concern negligible, since this same minor difference in outcomes as in the restricted bifactor RSS SEM only necessitated free estimation of two loadings across that model’s groups. Furthermore, the unscaled fit statistics for the WLSMV-estimated multi-group models also indicated metric invariance (∆CFI = −0.002 vs. configural), and no inadmissible parameters resulted from the strictly invariant model using ULSMV estimation, which fit acceptably.
- 8Our largest SEM took over a day to converge using the newest Intel processor overclocked to 4.5 GHz. (Lavaan currently uses only one core per SEM.) Using maximum likelihood estimation without polychoric correlations reduced processing time drastically, as did using simpler SEMs or pooling data into one sample, but our interests prohibited these shortcuts.
|High School or Less||Partial College||Two-Year, Trade, or Technical||Bachelor’s||Master’s|
|Sample||Median||MAD||Women||Men||White||Asian||Black||Latin||Other or Multiple||Born in the USA||English as First Language|
|Sexual Orientation||Relationship Status|
|Sample||Hetero-Sexual||Bisexual||Homosexual||Other or Withheld||Single||In a Relationship||Cohabiting||Married||Divorced||Other or Withheld|
|WCC||Original||1.0 (4.5)||2.5 (5.7)||0.6 (1.3)||0.9 (2.2)||−0.3 (4.0)||0.3 (3.5)||—|
|Restricted||−15.2 (1.2)||−10.6 (4.1)||−6.3 (0.6)||−8.0 (1.0)||−13.8 (1.7)||−13.8 (1.1)||16.3 (3.3)|
|Unrestricted||0.4 (4.5)||0.4 (3.3)||0.3 (1.0)||−0.2 (1.3)||−0.3 (5.7)||−0.1 (4.0)||0.6 (0.2)|
|Statistic||Belief Salience||Participation||Depression||Anxiety||Neuroticism||Perceived Stress|
|Sample||Belief Salience||Participation||Depression||Anxiety||Neuroticism||Perceived Stress|
|WCC||5.2 (5.7)||2.4 (0.6)||0.1 (0.4)||0.2 (2.3)||−0.1 (0.4)||0.2 (0.8)|
|MWU||0.9 (8.1)||0.5 (1.4)||0.1 (0.5)||0.3 (2.6)||0.1 (0.4)||0.1 (0.7)|
|MWR||0.0 (10.4)||0.0 (1.7)||0.0 (0.5)||0.0 (2.3)||0.0 (0.4)||0.0 (0.5)|
|GMT||0.5 (21.7)||0.3 (2.2)||−0.3 (0.9)||−0.3 (4.2)||−0.2 (0.8)||−0.4 (1.5)|
|RSS Factor||Measurement Model||Religiousness||Distress|
|Belief Salience||Participation||Depression||Anxiety||Neuroticism||Perceived Stress|
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