Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


The Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWB) is a 20 item self-report attitudinal measure of one's religious and existential well-being. It is the most extensively studied of the instruments developed to measure spiritual well-being (Moberg, 1986). Despite the popularity of this scale, it is still in the process of research and development. This study evaluated research done with the SWB scale considering the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (1985). While there has been much progress, two needs that became clear from this examination were for additional studies in the area of reliability and to try to "raise the ceiling" of the scale because scores tend to cluster near the maximum, especially for highly religious populations. Censored scores are undesirable because they limit interpretation and practical use. This dissertation co:1ducted three studies. The first study designed a, new rating scale with more opportunity for score variability. This study tested the new scale with evangelical Christians looking at correlations with other religious measures and comparing it with the original rating scale. The second study investigated test-retest and internal consistency reliability coefficients for both versions of the rating scale. The second study used two samples: community college students and a Baptist church. Finally, a third study examined internal consistency coefficients and other descriptive data from previously collected data using the original scale. The three samples in this study were (a) Conservative Baptists in Oregon, (b) a church in Salem, OR, and (c) Chinese American Christians in the Northwest. Results supported the initial reliability studies for the scale, suggesting the scale is satisfactory in this area. The experimental scale was equivalent in many respects to the original including correlations with other measures, reliability coefficients, and measures of central tendency and variability. It did not alter the basic shape of the score distribution enough to be of practical significance. There is a need for more research in this area so the scale can discriminate among persons in highly religious populations.

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