Showing posts with label Religious coping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religious coping. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Divine Spiritual Struggles Scale


Assessment name:  Divine Spiritual Struggles Scale

Scale overview: The Divine Spiritual Struggles Scale measures the degree of distress experienced by adolescents in their relationship with God or a higher power. Scale data were obtained from a sample of adolescents who reported sexual abuse.


Authors: Ernest Jouriles and others (see scale reference)


 Response Type: Four items are rated on a 4-point scale of frequency related to feeling “punished, abandoned, and questioned God’s love” when they thought about sexual abuse in the preceding month.

0 = not at all

1 = somewhat

2 = quite a bit

3 = a great deal

Scale items

The four items in the scale can be found in the PsycTESTS reference below.

Psychometric properties

The scale was used in two studies (see Jouriles et al., 2020) with a combined n of 347 adolescents who had a mean age of 13.53 and 13.71, respectively. More than 90% were girls. Most of the girls identified as Christian.

Reliability and discriminant validity values were reported. Higher scores on the scale were significantly correlated with adjustment problems after adjusting for other included variables.



The four items in the scale can be found in the PsycTESTS reference below.


Reference for the scale

Jouriles, E. N., Rancher, C., Mahoney, A., Kurth, C., Cook, K., & McDonald, R. (2020). Divine spiritual struggles and psychological adjustment among adolescents who have been sexually abused. Psychology of Violence10(3), 334–343. 

Jouriles, E. N., Rancher, C., Mahoney, A., Kurth, C., Cook, K., & McDonald, R. (2020). Divine Spiritual Struggles Scale. PsycTESTS.

Related Scales 

Religious and Spiritual Struggles Scale

The Brief RCOPE scale (Religious Coping)

Reference for using scales in research:

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Reference for clinicians on understanding assessment

Buy Applied Statistics for Counselors









Resource Link:  A – Z Test Index





The information about scales and measures is provided for clinicians and researchers based on professional publications. The links to authors, materials, and references can change. You may be able to locate details by contacting the main author of the original article or another author on the article list.


Post Author


Geoffrey W. Sutton PhD is Emeritus Professor of Psychology who publishes book and articles about clinical and social psychology including the psychology of religion. Website:


Books available on   AMAZON       and the   GOOGLE STORE



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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Inventory of Complicated Spiritual Grief


Scale name:  Inventory of Complicated Spiritual Grief

Scale overview

The ICSG is an 18-item scale. Participants are asked to think about their loss and respond to items to express their beliefs about their feelings.

A second version was published as ICSG 2.0 in 2019.

Authors: Laurie A. Burke and others (2014) - see reference below

Version 2.0 See Burke et al 2019

Response Type

All items are rated on a 5-point Likert-type rating.

Subscales: The authors list items associated with two subscales:

1. Insecurity with God

2. Disruption in Religious Practice

Sample items 2014 scale

1) I don’t understand why God has made it so hard for me.

17) I sense the absence of God more than I do the presence of God.


Reliability and Validity

See the publications for details.


Version 1: See the Burke et al. 2014 PsycTESTS entry. The items are also in the Burke & Neimery 2016 article, Appendix

Version 2: See Burke et al. 2019

 SCOPES Domain = Self/ spirituality

Permissions -- if identified

Contact the publisher- Taylor and Francis


Burke, L. A., Crunk, A.E., Neimeyer, R. A. Bai, H. (2019):

Inventory of Complicated Spiritual Grief 2.0 (ICSG 2.0): Validation of a revised measure of spiritual distress in bereavement, Death Studies, DOI: 10.1080/07481187.2019.1627031

Burke, L. A., Neimeyer, R. A., Holland, J. M., Dennard, S., Oliver, L., & Shear, M. K. (2014). Inventory of Complicated Spiritual Grief. PsycTESTS.

Burke, Laurie A., Neimeyer, Robert A., Holland, Jason M., Dennard, Sharon, Oliver, Linda, & Shear, M. Katherine. (2014). Inventory of complicated spiritual grief: Development and validation of a new measure. Death Studies, 38(4), 239-250. doi:, © 2014 by Taylor & Francis

Reference for using scales in research:

Creating Surveys on AMAZON or GOOGLE





Reference for clinicians on understanding assessment

Applied Statistics Concepts for Counselors on AMAZON or GOOGLE




Resource Link:  A – Z Test Index


 Links to Connections

Checkout My Website


See my Books





FOLLOW me on

   FACEBOOK   Geoff W. Sutton  


   TWITTER  @Geoff.W.Sutton




Read published articles:


  Academia   Geoff W Sutton   


  ResearchGate   Geoffrey W Sutton 





Thursday, December 17, 2020

Screening Questions for Spirituality in Counseling


Mental health professionals have recognized the importance of religion and spirituality to wellbeing. I have seen intake forms that ignore spirituality or ask only about a person’s religious identity or if they would like a visit from a chaplain or clergy during a hospitalization.

Clinicians can reasonably ask how to explore the importance of spirituality to treatment without being overly intrusive or disrespectful when a patient does not volunteer relevant information. David Hodge (2013) offers four screening questions based on his review of the literature (p. 98).

I offer a paraphrase of Hodge’s suggestions and suggest consulting his chapter, which I found in my university library (see reference below). Each question is tied to a one-word therapeutic purpose.

1. Importance

How important is spiritual or religious faith to you?

2. Affiliation

Do you attend religious services? Do you participate in any groups that would be considered religious or spiritual?

3. Resources

Are there any spiritual or religious beliefs or practices that you find helpful?

4. Relationship to psychotherapy goals

Have any of the concerns you mentioned affected you spirituality or had an influence on your faith?

The questions may be asked at any point in the psychotherapy process. Each question offers the potential for a more in-depth exploration of the patient’s faith as relevant to their psychotherapy goals.

I have posted a number of questionnaires and scales in this blog that may be helpful to further explore one or more dimensions of religious faith or spirituality. In clinical practice, it may not be important to administer an entire scale or questionnaire to obtain relevant information. Instead, clinicians might find a few items that help patient’s connect their faith to their therapeutic goals.

Read more about assessment in counseling and psychotherapy in Applied Statistics: Concepts for Counselors.


Creating Surveys on AMAZON    or   GOOGLE  Worldwide

Resource Link: A - Z Test Index


Hodge, D.R. (2013). Assessing spirituality and religion in the context of counseling and psychotherapy. In K. I. Pargament (Ed.) APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality: Vol. 2. An Applied Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, pp. 93-123. Washington, DC: APA.

Links to Connections

Checkout My Page


My Books  AMAZON          and             GOOGLE STORE


FOLLOW me on   FACEBOOK   Geoff W. Sutton   TWITTER  @Geoff.W.Sutton




Articles: Academia   Geoff W Sutton   ResearchGate   Geoffrey W Sutton 


Sunday, January 12, 2020

Religious Coping: The Brief RCOPE scale

The Brief RCOPE scale is a 14-item measure of religious coping developed and studied by Kenneth Pargament (e.g., 1997) and his colleagues. The scale is based on coping theory applied to religion and aims to help researchers understand one relationship between people and their religion when they experience a stressful life experience.

Research supports two dimensions of coping reflected in the RCOPE scale: positive and negative. These two dimensions are the basis for two subscales of the Brief RCOPE labelled accordingly as Positive Religious Coping Subscale (PRC) and Negative Religious Subscale (NRC).

Positive coping means drawing upon spiritual resources in a way that helps people cope with stressful events. Such people may have a secure relationship with God or a higher power, hold a benevolent worldview, and have positive relationships with religious others.

Negative religious coping indicates intrapersonal religious or spiritual struggles. The conflict may be experienced as personal tension, conflicts with God, or religious others.

Five Dimensions of Religious Coping

The coping scales address five dimensions of religious coping, which Pargament et al. (2011, p. 56) phrase in goal language using the phrase “Religious methods of coping to…” followed by a specific dimension as follows:

            1. find meaning

            2. gain control

            3. gain comfort and closeness to God

            4. gain intimacy with others and closeness to God

            5. achieve a life transformation

The Brief version of the RCOPE has 14-items and is the most commonly used measure of religious coping.

Researchers have used the Brief RCOPE with people from different ethnic groups and religious groups. Most studies in a 2011 review were based on US samples (Pargament, Feuille, & Brudzy).

Psychometric findings

Reliability: The median alpha values for the scores from the two subscales based on thousands of participants (Pargament et al., 2011) were: PRC = .92 and NRC = .81.

The relationship between the two scales is orthogonal based on most factor analyses but there are some low association values in some studies.

Validity: Several studies support the conclusion that the RCOPE usually produces adequate validity values in relationship to measures of spirituality such as wellbeing and post-traumatic growth.

Sapp (2011) studied religious coping and depression in a Christian university sample. Findings:

   > The Brief RCOPE- Negative Scale had a positive significant correlation with Beck Depression Inventory scores, r = .37.

   > The Brief RCOPE had a significant negative correlation with the Spiritual Well-Being Scale r = -.35.


Findings from Stanford et al. (2021). Stanford et al. (2021) studied the Brief RCOPE and other variables in a mostly Christian (71%) sample of 1,048 participants. 

God Image. They found a judgmental God image was significantly related to negative religious coping (NRC, .31) and an engaged God image was significantly related to positive religious coping (PRC, .70). God images were assessed using the 15-item God Questionnaire (Froese & Bader, 2010).

Religious Involvement. Stanford et al. (2021) reported the relationship between the Brief RCOPE scales and three measures of religiosity from the DUREL(Duke University Religion Index): organized (ORA) and nonorganized religious activities (NORA), and intrinsic religiosity (IR). Following are the correlations. Those that are statistically significant (p < .01) are in bold. As can be seen, there is a strong relationship between positive religious coping and religious involvement.

  Positive coping and religious involvement: ORA = .58, NORA = .62, IR .79

  Negative coping and religious involvement: ORA = .09, NORA = .03, IR .14


Emotion and Mood variables. Correlations indicated positive coping was moderately associated with positive affect (.29) and negative coping with negative affect (.42) (Stanford et al., 2021) using the Positive and Negative Affect scales (PANAS; Watson et al., (1988). The same team also examined the Brief RCOPE with mental health symptoms using the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale 21 (DASS-21; Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995). Negative coping was also linked to stress (39), anxiety (.40), and depression (.41). There was a weak, albeit statistically significant relationship between positive religious coping and anxiety (.16) but not for either stress or depression.


Verhoeff-Korpershoek and her colleagues (2022) studied religious coping in a sample of Christian outpatients who experienced anxiety or depression. They used an 11-item Dutch language version of the Brief RCOPE, which had alpha values of positive = .74 and negative = .71. The results indicated a statistically significant correlation between negative religious coping and lower wellbeing.

To see the relationship between the Brief RCOPE and the RSS (Religious and Spiritual Struggles) measures, see Wilt et al. (2022).

RCOPE Scale Items

The items for the RCOPE and the Brief RCOPE can be found in a downloadable pdf available 12 January 2020 ( I cannot guarantee the link will always be operative.)

Learn more about creating surveys

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Related Posts

Spiritual Struggles Scale (Exline et al.)

Cite This Blog Post

Sutton, G.W. (2020, January 12). Religious Coping: The Brief RCOPE scale. Assessment, Statistics, & Research. 2020/01/religious-coping-brief-rcope-scale.html

Resource Link to more tests and questionnairesA – Z Test Index

Religious Coping References

Pargament, K. I. (1997). The psychology of religion and coping: Theory, research, practice. New York: Guilford Press. Available used and new on AMAZON

Pargament, K., Feuille, M., & Burdzy, D. (2011). The brief RCOPE: Current psychometric status of a short measure of religious coping. Religions, 2 (1), 51-76.

Sapp, J. F. (2011). Exploring the relationships between spiritual well-being, religious distress, and depression among freshmen in a Christian university [ProQuest Information & Learning]. In Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering (Vol. 72, Issue 4–B, p. 2446).

Stanford, M. S., Oxhandler, H. K., & Ellor, J. W. (2021). Assessing the usefulness of the God Questionnaire. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality13(1), 46–52.

Verhoeff-Korpershoek, A., Le Comte-van der Burg, M., Vrijmoeth, C., & Schaap-Jonker, H. (2022). A quasi-experimental study of an adjunctive, online psychoeducational module on religious coping for Christian outpatients with depression or anxiety. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

Wilt, J. A., Exline, J. J., & Pargament, K. I. (2022). Coping with religious and spiritual struggles: Religious and secular techniques. Spirituality in Clinical Practice. (Supplemental)

See the reference section in the above references for extensive references to the RCOPE in research.


My Page
My Books  AMAZON                       GOOGLE STORE

FACEBOOK   Geoff W. Sutton
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Academia   Geoff W Sutton   (PhD)     

  ResearchGate   Geoffrey W Sutton   (PhD)

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A related book

        by Pargament and Exline

Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy
 by Kenneth Pargament

  on       AMAZON

Projective Testing

  In psychological assessment using projective tests, clinicians provide patients with ambiguous words, sentences, or images and look for th...