Spirituality and wellbeing in later life: a multidimensional approach

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39 Scopus citations


Objectives: Previous studies pointed at positive associations between spirituality and Subjective Wellbeing (SWB) in later life, but were typically limited to one dimension of spirituality and/or one measure of SWB. Applying Fisher's (2010) multidimensional approach to spirituality and measuring both positive and negative aspects of SWB, this study aims at providing deeper understanding of this association. Method: The study was based on an online survey with 306 individuals aged 50 years and over. The questionnaire included the SHALOM spirituality scale as well as measures of depression, satisfaction with life, and personal background. Results: Personal and communal spirituality were the most dominant domains reported by study participants, followed by environmental spirituality. Transcendental spirituality was the least reported domain. Personal spirituality was the only domain positively associated with SWB (lower depression and higher life satisfaction), whereas communal and transcendental spirituality were associated with more depression. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that not all spirituality domains are equally dominant in people's lives or positively associate with SWB. They also suggest that encouraging elderly people to develop their personal spirituality and self-growth may contribute to their wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)984-991
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - 3 Aug 2019


  • Depression
  • life satisfaction
  • older adults
  • spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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