Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman


  • Stephen GallagherEmail author
  • Warren TierneyEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_495-2



Spirituality is a very unclear concept that has no concrete definition. By its very nature, the concept of spirituality is deeply rooted in religion, yet in contemporary spirituality, there is an incremental divide emerging between religion and spirituality. Therefore, in present-day society, the formation of a dichotomy with spirituality representing the personal, subjective, inner-directed, unsystematic, liberating expression and religion signifying a formal, authoritarian, institutionalized inhibiting expression is being witnessed. Spirituality has also been defined as a subjective and fluid approach to experiences which leads one to search for enlightenment, whereby behaviors are practiced in accordance with these sacred beliefs. Similarly, one can also consider spirituality to be something personal, which is defined by individuals themselves and is mostly likely devoid of the rules and regulations associated with religion.



Spiritual Belief Daily Spiritual Experience Scale Spiritual Struggle Daily Spiritual Experience Spirituality Scale 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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References and Further Readings

  1. Gallagher, S., Phillips, A. C., Lee, H. A. N., & Carroll, D. (2015). The association between spirituality and depression in parents caring for children with developmental disabilities: Social support and/or last resort. Journal of Religion and Health, 54, 358–370.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Hill, P. C., & Pargament, K. I. (2003). Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of religion and spirituality: Implications for physical and mental health research. American Psychologist, 58, 64–74.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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  9. Peterman, A. H., Fitchett, G., Brady, M. J., Hernandez, L., & Cella, D. (2002). Measuring spiritual well-being in people with cancer: The functional assessment of chronic illness therapy-spiritual well-being scale (FACIT-Sp). Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24, 49–58.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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  12. Rosmarin, D. H., Pargament, K. I., & Flannelly, K. J. (2009). Do spiritual struggles predict poorer physical/mental health among Jews? The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 19, 244–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  15. Wachholtz, M. A. B., & Pargament, K. I. (2009). Migraines and meditation: Does spirituality matter? Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 3, 351–366.Google Scholar
  16. Wheeler, P., & Hyland, M. E. (2008). The development of a scale to measure the experience of spiritual connection and the correlation between this experience and values. Spirituality Health, 9, 193–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education & Health SciencesUniversity of LimerickCastletroy, LimerickIreland