ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0575.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Psychology Keywords: Religious and spiritual struggles; open-ended items; closed-ended items; religious belief salience
Online: 24 July 2020 (10:06:08 CEST)
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.