particularly important among older adults, and positively linked to self-appraisedgood health among elders (Daaleman and Frey 2004). There are a number of cross-sectional studies that indicate many people turn to spirituality as a resource fordealing with their pain (Ashby and Lenhart, 1994; Keefe and Dolan, 1986; Keefe et al.,1997; Rosenstiel and Keefe, 1983). Although limited, there are some longitudinalstudies that suggest religion and spirituality may be positively correlated with lowerpain scores (Turner and Clancy, 1986) and improved mood (Keefe et al., 2001). Whileit is established that spirituality is often used as a coping strategy, it is still not fullyunderstood if spirituality is related to mental health, physical health, or quality of lifein those with chronic pain as findings on outcomes have thus far been mixed andinconsistent. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship betweenspirituality and stress among the elderly practising spirituality. In this study, it ishypothesized that spirituality will contribute significantly to predicting better mentalhealth.
LIFE STRESS AND AFFECTIVE WELL-BEING
In order to fully establish a rationale for the present investigation, literaturedocumenting a firm inverse association between spirituality (e.g. internal religiousorientations) and negative affective symptoms (e.g., Pargament, Cole, Vandecreek,Belavich, Brant, & Perez, 1999; Duncan, 2000) must be reviewed. As reported innumerous studies, adopting any one of several personal spiritual orientations often buffers against negative affective outcomes (Simoni & Ortiz, 2003; Fabricatore,Handal, & Fenzel, 2000). For example, Bush and colleagues (1999) found positivereligious coping styles to be associated with improved positive affect. Previousliterature has also pointed to a link between life stress, spirituality, and affectivewellbeing (e.g. Tarakeshwar, & Pargament, 2001, Peltzer, Cherian, & Cherian, 1999).Fehring, Brennan, and Keller (1987) demonstrated the positive impact of spiritualwell-being, existential well-being, and spiritual outlook on negative moods inresponse to life stress.Spirituality can help us develop healthy behaviors andlifestyles; find psychosocial support; and effectively deal with suffering, life’sproblems, and negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, fears, anger, and frustration(Hadzic, 2011).
SPIRITUALITY AND WELLBEING
The relationship between spirituality and well-being has been well-documented in theUnited States. Numerous empirical findings indicating salutary effects ofspirituality/religion on physical and mental health have been found in the literature inWestern society. In general, spirituality and religion contribute to lowering the risk ofcertain diseases (e.g., heart disease, emphysema, stroke, and kidney failure, etc.) andoverall mortality. Spirituality and religion have positive associations with well-being,general psychological function, and marital satisfaction, and negative associationswith suicide, delinquency, criminal behaviors, and drug/alcohol use. Especially, senseof hope and peace, love and joy, meaning and purpose in life, self-transcendence,forgiveness of self and others, awareness and acceptance of hardship and mortality,and a heightened sense of physical and emotional well-being have been indicated asconsequences of spirituality in nursing literature (Coyle, 2002; Haase et al., 1992; Reed,