Spirituality, Religious Attendance and Health Complaints in Czech Adolescents

Zidkova, R., Glogar, P., Solcova, I. P., van Dijk, J. P., Kalman, M., Tavel, P. & Malinakova, K., Apr-2020, In : International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 17, 7, 9 p., 2339.

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Research in some religious countries shows that religiosity and spirituality positively affect adolescent health. We studied whether religiosity and spirituality also have positive associations with adolescent health in a secular country. We tested the associations between religious attendance and spirituality and self-reported health and health complaints using a representative sample of Czech adolescents (n = 4182, 14.4 +/- 1.1 years, 48.6% boys) from the 2014 health behavior in school-aged children (HBSC) study. We used religious attendance, the adjusted shortened version of the spiritual well-being scale (SWBS), and its two components-religious well-being (RWB) and existential well-being (EWB)-as independent variables and the eight item "HBSC symptom checklist" and self-reported overall health as dependent variables. A higher level of spirituality was associated with lower chances of health complaints and self-reported health, ranging from a 9% to 30% decrease in odd ratios (OR). Religious attendance was not associated with any of the observed variables. The EWB showed a negative association with all of the observed variables, with associations ranging from a 19% to 47% decrease. The RWB was associated with a higher risk of nervousness (OR = 1.12), while other associations were not significant. Non-spiritual but attending respondents were more likely to report a higher occurrence of stomachache (OR = 2.20) and had significantly worse overall health (OR = 2.38). In a largely secular country, we found that spirituality and the EWB (unlike religious attendance and the RWB) could have a significant influence on adolescent health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2339
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2020


  • health complaints, psychosomatic syndrome, adolescents, religiosity, spirituality, secular environment, PSYCHOMETRIC EVALUATION, ASSOCIATIONS, MORTALITY

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