Welcome to the home of
the Spiritual Well-Being Scale
Helping assess your perceived relationship with God,
sense of life purpose and life satisfaction.

1. Can the SWBS be used with children?

There are two ways that the SWB Scale can be used with children. First, if the children are quite young and are not yet able to read, it is possible to read the statements to the children and carefully and slowly ask them to provide an answer using the standard answer format. Depending on the level of the children, it may be useful to have the students practice with sample items given to them before the actual scale is administered. Second, a retrospective version of the scale has been developed for use with children who are able to read. If you have an interest in this version of the scale, contact Life Advance. In trying to measure the SWB construct with children, it is necessary to keep in mind the level of cognitive development of the child, so that a proper interpretation of scores can be made.

2. What if respondents don't believe in God? Can "God" be re-worded to "higher power?"

The items on the religious well-being subscale of the SWBS include the word "God." There is no reference to any particular God or to denominational or other specific religious designations. Therefore, subject is free to interpret the word God in whatever way is meaningful to the subject. This is important because the scale is desiged to measure a psychological dimension, as perceived by the subject. Most subjects find the language in the scale satisfactory. Occasionally, however, some subjects find the word God puzzling, and for them it is useful to provide instructions in advance, orally or written, that indicate that if necessary, they may interpret the word God to mean "higher power" in whatever sense is meaningful to them. This normally accommodates those subjects for whom the language in the printed scale is not in accord with their own usage.

3. Can we use a subscale by itself, i.e., is it meaningful or wise to obtain religious well-being (RWB) or existential well-being (EWB) scores alone?

Yes, it is possible to use the RWB or EWB on its own. The subject is instructed to fill out only the items appropriately numbered, and then only those are scored. It has been found useful in various research studies to obtain not only the overall SWB score, but also to break it down and report both the RWB and the EWB subscale scores and do statistical comparisons among those. This is useful, because sometimes the sense of religious well-being and the sense of existential well-being may behave differently.

4. Can the SWBS be used for clinical purposes? How?

The SWBS is useful for such purposes because it tends to be sensitive at the low end of the distribution of scores. It may therefore be useful as a "pointer" to help alert practitioners to general areas that can be explored. Clinicians and counselors may be able to use this information as an aid for discussion or treatment. Clients can be assessed at a later stage to see whether their scores change.

5. Is the SWBS usable given possible ceiling effects with certain religious populations?

Depending upon the goals of a religiously oriented counseling program or a congregation, the SWBS may be useful in identifying where people are lacking in their sense of spiritual well-being and may be helpful as a tool for helping them grow to the point where they feel more comfortable. It would not,, however, be useful in comparing those who are already high in SWB with others who might also be high.

6. Is the SWBS available in languages other than English?

The SWBS has been translated into Spanish. Translations into sevral other languages are under development at the present time.


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