Wilt, J.A.; Takahashi, J.T.; Jeong, P.; Exline, J.J.; Pargament, K.I. Open-Ended and Closed-Ended Measures of Religious/Spiritual Struggles: A Mixed-Methods Study. Religions2020, 11, 505.
Wilt, J.A.; Takahashi, J.T.; Jeong, P.; Exline, J.J.; Pargament, K.I. Open-Ended and Closed-Ended Measures of Religious/Spiritual Struggles: A Mixed-Methods Study. Religions 2020, 11, 505.
Religious and spiritual struggles are typically assessed by self-report scales using closed-ended items, yet nascent research suggests that using open-ended items may complement and advance assessment. In the current study, undergraduate participants (N = 976) completed open-ended descriptions of their religious and spiritual struggles, the Religious and Spiritual Struggles Scale (RSS), and a standardized measures of religious belief salience. Qualitative coding showed that the themes emerging from open-ended descriptions generally fell within the broad domains of the RSS though some descriptions reflected more contextualized struggles. Scores derived from the open-ended responses to assess RSS domains achieved evidence of reliability as well as convergent and discriminant validity with the RSS . Correlations revealed a mix of similar and divergent associations between methods of assessing religious and spiritual struggles and religious belief salience. Open-ended descriptions of religious and spiritual struggles may yield reliable and valid information that is related to but distinct from assessments relying on closed-ended items.
Religious and spiritual struggles; open-ended items; closed-ended items; religious belief salience
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