198424 Development and validation of instruments to assess spiritual capital

Monday, November 9, 2009: 2:52 PM

Cheryl L. Holt, PhD , Department of Behavioral and Community Health; School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Eddie Clark, PhD , Department of Psychology, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO
Emily Schulz, PhD , Occupational Therapy, A.T. Still University, Mesa, AZ
Beverly Williams, PhD , Med-Gerontology/Geriatrics/Palliative Care, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Penny Southward, MPPM , Media For Health, Birmingham, AL
Social capital is defined as resources available to individuals by virtue of their affiliation and/or participation in social networks. Faith communities where people gather for worship are an important source of social capital in the US. This is particularly true in the African American community. The type of social capital generated by religious groups (e.g., spiritual capital) is important for the health and well-being of the members. The issue for research is that there are few if any validated instruments available to assess spiritual capital, as a construct unique from religious participation, spiritual experience, or spiritual support. This is compounded by the challenging issue of the core construct of social capital, which suffers from poor operationalization. The present study began with a validated social capital instrument (Perry, et al., 2008), that was adapted in two ways to result in two new instruments to assess spiritual capital. One instrument assessed spiritual capital gained through participation in a religious or faith community (e.g,. church). The second assessed spiritual capital gained through one's relationship with a higher power (e.g., God). These instruments were developed through an iterative process, and administered to a national probability sample of 800 African American adults. Preliminary data suggest that the new instruments have high internal reliability (α=.61 original social capital; α=.98 spiritual capital-church; α=.91 spiritual capital-God). Additional validity data and factor analysis results are discussed, as well as if and how the construct of spiritual capital can be distinguished conceptually from spiritual support.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the process through which two new instruments to assess spiritual capital were developed, through adapting an existing social capital instrument. 2. Describe the psychometric properties of two new spiritual capital instruments. 3. Articulate the difference between social capital, social support, spiritual capital, and spiritual support.

Keywords: Religion, Survey

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator of the study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.