The Review of Instruments of Spirituality Measurement in Children

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Abstract

Introduction: The aim of the present paper was to point out to the actual overview of tools used to measure spirituality in child age on the basis of an analysis of studies addressing the given issue included in the full-text database EBSCOa PsycINFO.

Purpose: The analysed studies were selected according to the following criteria: a) age range of respondents 6-11 years, that means, younger school age (studies where age of respondents included upper limit of stated age range were also accepted), b) the study included the use of a specific instrument for measuring spirituality (or selected scales), c) the study included the assessment of the psychometric properties of the instruments, d) the study was not qualitative, that means, spirituality was not measured through interviews or open questions.

Methods: Altogether, 15 research studies were analysed on the basis of which 8 instruments used for measuring spirituality in children were identified of which 3 tools (FGLL, Fisher, 2004; YSS, Sifers et al. 2012; SSSC, Stoyles et al. 2012) especially developed for use in child age (6-11 years) and 5 tools (SWBQ, Gomez & Fisher, 2003; RCOPE, Pargament et al. 2000; BMMRS, Fetzer Institute, 1999; SWBS, Ellison, 1983; FACIT-SP-12, Peterman et al. 2002) originally intended for work with the older population and used in the age group 11 years and over. The tools were subsequently described in terms of the theoretical structure, in terms of assessing the psychometric properties and assessing the quality of the tools and in terms of benefits or disadvantages when used with a child’s respondent. The theoretical bases of the instruments pointed out to the problem of the inconsistent and ambiguous definition of the spirituality construct, which is reflected in the different understanding of spirituality and its dimensions.

Conclusion: The psychometric indicators of particular instruments were evaluated and scored on the basis of selected criteria. According to the assessment, the absence of retest reliability verification, verification of some types of validity and the size of the set of validation studies was found out. From the perspective of the appropriateness of the use of tools, some tools seem to be problematic in particular to understand the particular items and omitting factors (for example family, peers) playing an important role in the spirituality of children.

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