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J Relig Health. 2008 Dec;47(4):438-57.

Reliability and validity of the brief multidimensional measure of religiousness/spirituality among adolescents.

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Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.



Developed for use in health research, the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality (BMMRS) consists of brief measures of a broad range of religiousness and spirituality (R/S) dimensions. It has established psychometric properties among adults, but little is known about its appropriateness for use with adolescents.


We assessed the psychometric properties of the BMMRS among adolescents.


We recruited a racially diverse (85% non-White) sample of 305 adolescents aged 12-18 years (median 16 yrs, IQR 14-17) from 3 urban medical clinics; 93 completed a retest 1 week later. We assessed internal consistency and test-retest reliability. We assessed construct validity by examining how well the measures discriminated groups expected to differ based on self-reported religious preference, and how they related to a hypothesized correlate, depressive symptoms. Religious preference was categorized into "No religion/Atheist" (11%), "Don't know/Confused" (9%), or "Named a religion" (80%).


Responses to multi-item measures were generally internally consistent (alpha > or = 0.70 for 12/16 measures) and stable over 1 week (intraclass correlation coefficients > or = 0.70 for 14/16). Forgiveness, Negative R/S Coping, and Commitment items showed lower internal cohesiveness. Scores on most measures were higher (p < 0.05) among those who "Named a religion" compared to the "No religion/Atheist" group. Forgiveness, Commitment, and Anticipated Support from members of one's congregation were inversely correlated with depressive symptoms, while BMMRS measures assessing negative R/S experiences (Negative R/S Coping, Negative Interactions with others in congregation, Loss in Faith) were positively correlated with depressive symptoms.


These findings suggest that most BMMRS measures are reliable and valid for use among adolescents.

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