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The Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWBS) is a 20-item measure of self-perceived spiritual health. Developed in the 1980s, it includes 2 subscales with 10 items each. Responses are made on a 6-point continuum from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree with no neutral point; 9 of the items are negatively worded to minimize response biases. The US samples show good internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Content validity was established in construction. Expected correlations with religion and spirituality indices, social and psychological mea-sures, and physical functioning and demonstration of expected group differences support criterion validity. Factor analysis commonly shows 2 factors corresponding to the religious and existential dimensions, but 3, 4, and even 5 factors are found in some cultural samples. Together, data show the SWBS is a good indicator of biopsychosocial and spiritual wellness. Gradually, international interest in the SWBS has grown, and the SWBS has been translated into 22 lan-guages to date. Results of translations are broadly consistent with the English-language literature. In general, translations are internally consistent and show good test-retest reliability. In some groups, negatively worded items tend to cluster together regardless of content, suggesting a methods factor for those samples. Among international samples, factor analysis generally results in 2 fac-tors or 2 factors and an additional methods factor. Empirical correlates and group differences found with SWBS translations generally parallel those with the English version.


Originally published in International Handbook of Behavioral Health Assessment.
2023. Pages 1-31.