Descriptive statistics for the sample are presented in . Although slightly over half of this sample of 576 adult heart surgery patients were Roman Catholic, the remainder were quite religiously diverse, including internally diverse groups of Jews, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians, as well as Hindus, Muslims, and other. Just 5.9% of the sample reported no religious affiliation. There were 154 women and 416 men, aged 28 to 89 years. Twelve percent of the sample were nonwhite, and 28.5% were not married. On average, they reported 13.4 years of education. Muslims were the youngest (M = 55.7 years) and Orthodox Christians the oldest (M = 70.7 years). Hindus were the most highly educated (M = 16.9 years of education), and Orthodox Christians the least (M = 12.5). Hindus and Muslims were most likely to describe themselves as nonwhite. There were no significant differences in function between religious affiliation groups. Twenty-five percent of the sample reported no limitation of function at all, and no one in the sample scored over 3 on a functional limitation scale with a maximum of 6; moreover, 37.5 percent rated their health as very good or excellent. Thus, although this was a sample of patients facing surgery, many respondents were middle-aged and many felt quite healthy.
Sample Demographic Characteristics, Percent or Mean
The initial confirmatory factor analysis was based on dimensions indicated in . This 5-factor model did not fit the data well, χ2 (df 892) = 3,783.70, p < .001, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) = .075 (95% CI: .073, .078); our initial expectations regarding dimensions underlying responses to the pool of items were not supported. and show the results of the subsequent exploratory factor analysis (EFA), including item loadings, internal consistency measures, and correlations between factors. Our initial EFA with PROMAX rotation produced an eight factor solution with RMSEA = .039 (90% C.I.: .036, .043). An RMSEA of less than .05 indicates a close fit of the model in the population. Two items (How religious are you? How spiritual are you?) had loadings of .30 or greater on two factors, and therefore were not clear indicators of any one factor. We decided to retain these as individual items for further analysis, but to exclude them from the factor analysis. We then ran a second EFA without these two items, and the results are displayed in . The RMSEA for the 8 factor model is .037 (90% C.I.: .033, .041). Four of the six worship practices items and two of the spirituality items did not load on any factor. Because Factor 8, with the smallest Eigenvalue, had only two items (reading scripture and sermons), we dropped it and instead summed scores from all six worship practices items, yielding an index that measures the overall importance of worship practices.
Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA)1, N=575
Correlations for 7 EFA Factors, Index of Worship Practices, and single items How Religious and How Spiritual1,2
Factor 1 contains the frequency of attendance at services item, although the highest loading item for the factor is “Do you have a congregation?” The other two items loading on this factor concern how much the particular congregation means to respondents, and the anticipated sense of loss were one to leave a congregation. We labeled this factor Congregation Involvement. Cronbach’s alpha for Factor 1 was .79. Its highest correlations are with the Worship Practices Index and How Religious (both .52), and lowest with Purpose (.20).
Factor 2 is made up of four of the worship emotion items, which ask about feelings of energy, calm, being healed, and joy. We labeled this factor Positive Worship Emotions; its Cronbach’s alpha is .88. It is most highly correlated with the Worship Practices Index (.60), and least highly with Purpose (.40).
Factor 3, Daily Devotional Activities, comprises seven items probing the place of religiousness in daily life, including reading the Bible or other religious texts, listening to religious programs on radio or TV, praying, having had a life changing experience, participating in other activities at a place of worship, rating religion as important compared to other things (reverse coded), and saying grace. Cronbach’s alpha is .78; its highest correlations are with the Worship Practices Index and How Religious (.56) and lowest with Sad Worship Emotions (.23).
Factor 4, Belonging, is made up of five items, including enjoying meeting others of one’s faith, feeling a special bond with others of the same faith, feeling connected to others on the holidays, feeling that congregation members are like family, and having a lot of good friends in the congregation. Cronbach’s alpha is .85; this factor is most highly correlated with Worship Practices Index (.58) and least with Sad Worship Emotions (.32).
Factor 5, Beliefs, has seven items, including believing in a Divine Being, believing in life after death, believing in the doctrines of one’s religion, striving for spiritual growth, feeling one’s life is part of a larger spiritual force, feeling that religion shapes one’s whole approach to life, and having a relationship with a Divine Being outside of religion. Cronbach’s alpha is .84; this factor is most highly correlated with How Religious (.58), and least with Sad Worship Emotions (.32).
Factor 6, Purpose, is made up of three items indicating a sense of purpose in life, meaning in life, and a philosophy of life. Cronbach’s alpha is .78; its highest correlation is with Belonging (.45), and its lowest is with Sad Worship Emotions (.15).
Factor 7, Sad Worship Emotions, included frequency of crying, feeling sad, feeling goose bumps, and feeling choked up during worship services. Cronbach’s alpha is .85; this factor is most highly correlated with Positive Worship Emotions (.41), and least with Purpose (.15).
The Worship Practices Index captures the overall importance to the respondent of the worship service elements: music, prayer, reading, sermons, rituals, and the setting. Despite the fact that these items did not factor together, Cronbach’s alpha is .81. The index is most highly correlated with Positive Worship Emotions (.60) and least with Sad Worship Emotions (.36).
The two single items that did not load cleanly on any factor, How Religious and How Spiritual the respondent is, have their highest correlations with each other (.65). The lowest correlation for both is with Sad Worship Emotions (.25).
To summarize, all Cronbach’s alphas indicated good to very good internal consistency, ranging from .72 to .88. Correlations between factors ranged from .15 to .65. One of the two highest correlations at .60 and above is for the correlation between How Religious and How Spiritual, items conventionally treated separately. The other is for the correlation between Positive Worship Emotions and Worship Practices, two factors with clearly distinct content and patterns of associations with other variables. Overall, the Worship Practices Index tended to have a pattern of the highest correlations with other factors, and Sad Worship Emotions the lowest.
All factors were scored by averaging their items after the item response categories had been scaled to range uniformly from 1 to 5. If one third or fewer of the items were missing for an individual, we imputed the mean score of nonmissing items to missing items. If more than one-third of items were missing, the factor score remained missing for that respondent.
Analysis of variance examined mean scores for each variable by religious groups, followed by individual comparisons using t-tests. Given the large number of comparisons (45), we report only differences that are significant at the p <.01 level. Results are presented in . Each set of rows shows a scale, each column shows a religious group. Religious groups appear in a row only if their mean score is significantly different from the column group for the scale in that row. Groups having the lowest and highest scores for each scale are indicated. For example, the upper left hand cell in the body of the table shows that the mean score for Congregational Involvement among Roman Catholic respondents was 2.96 and that Roman Catholics are significantly different on Congregational Involvement only from Jewish respondents, who had the lowest score of any religious affiliation on this dimension. Continuing across Row 1, Congregation Involvement is highest for conservative Protestants. Catholics and conservative Protestants score significantly higher on this scale than Jews or mainstream Protestants. If a cell is empty, it means that the group in the column heading is not significantly different from any other group on that dimension.
Religiousness Scales’ Means and T Tests for Differences by Religious Preference
Some factor means showed very few significant between-group differences. For Belonging, Roman Catholics scored significantly lower than conservative Protestants, but otherwise all groups were statistically indistinguishable, and had relatively high scores. Also, Jewish respondents scored significantly lower on Purpose (a factor on which all groups including Jews had relatively high scores) compared with Roman Catholics, Hindus, and Orthodox Christians, but they did not differ from Muslims, or mainstream or conservative Protestants. And there were no significant differences at all between groups on Sad Worship Emotions, on which there were generally low scores overall.
The factors for which there was the most diversity of scoring among the religious affiliation groups were Positive Worship Emotions, Daily Devotional Activities, Beliefs, How Religious, and How Spiritual. Jewish respondents had the lowest score for Positive Worship Emotions, and were significantly lower than Orthodox Christians (who had the highest scores), Roman Catholics, Hindus, Others, and conservative Protestants. Mainstream Protestants also scored low on this scale, significantly lower than Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics. The highest score for Daily Devotional Activities was for conservative Protestants, who were significantly higher on this dimension than every other religious group except Muslims; those with no religion scored lowest. The dimension with the greatest amount of explained between-group variation, as shown by the highest model R2 (.21), was Beliefs. Orthodox Christians scored highest on this factor; Jewish respondents and those with no religion scored lowest and were significantly different from virtually all other groups. The Worship Practices Index had somewhat less diverse scoring, with high scores for Orthodox Christians and Muslims and low scores for Jewish respondents. Jewish respondents scored significantly lower on the importance of worship than Orthodox Christians, Catholics, and both Protestant groups. When respondents assessed How Religious they were, Orthodox Christians and conservative Protestants scored the highest; those with no religion scored the lowest. Jewish respondents again scored the lowest among the religious groups. Responses to How Spiritual were a bit different; here the high scores were for conservative Protestants and others (a group including Unitarians, Bahà’í, Buddhist, Pagan, and New Age respondents). The low scores were for no religion and Jewish respondents.
Overall, the highest means for the sample as a whole were for Purpose, Beliefs, and Belonging; the lowest were for Sad Worship Emotions and Daily Devotional Activities. Among the religious groups, Jewish respondents and those with no religion showed consistent patterns of low levels of religious involvement and expression. The high-involvement, high-expressiveness groups are the conservative Protestants and to a lesser extent, the Orthodox Christians. Of equal interest is that some dimensions, notably Sad Worship Emotions and Belonging, showed few or no differences between groups, while others, particularly Positive Worship Emotions, Daily Devotional Activities, and Beliefs, showed a polarization of scores.
In a final effort to characterize these new dimensions, we performed ordinary least squares regression on each of the new scales with sociodemographic factors, physical functioning, and religious affiliation differences as our independent variables. We adjust for differences in physical functioning to be sure the associations were not confounded by selection; it is important to know if respondents were (for example) less likely to attend worship services because they were unable to attend due to their health. For this analysis, we collapse some religious affiliation groups because of small numbers. From the results of the previous detailed analysis in , it was clear that conservative and mainstream Protestants were sometimes significantly different from each other, and therefore should not be grouped together, but that Muslim, Hindu, and Orthodox Christian respondents were never significantly different from each other on these dimensions, and therefore could reasonably be added to the “other” category. Jewish and no religion respondents were coded with separate dummy variables, with Roman Catholics as the reference.
Results show that women are more religious than men on every single dimension, in accordance with most research on gender differences in religiousness. Unmarried respondents are less likely than married respondents to report high levels of Congregational Involvement and Beliefs; they also report fewer Daily Devotional Activities, score lower on Beliefs, have a lower sense of Purpose, and report themselves to be less religious. Hispanics are not different from whites on any dependent variable. However, black respondents and those of other races report higher levels of Daily Devotional Activities than whites, and blacks report marginally lower Congregational Involvement. Respondents with higher levels of education report a greater sense of Purpose, that they are more Spiritual, and that they have fewer Sad Worship Emotions. Older respondents have higher levels of Congregational Involvement, Daily Devotional Activities, a greater sense of Belonging, report more importance of Worship Practices, and rate themselves as more religious. Religious affiliation differences, now that they are adjusted for sociodemographic factors, again show that Jewish respondents score significantly lower than Roman Catholics on every dimension except Belonging and Sad Worship Emotions. Our measure of physical functioning was associated with only two of the religion measures. Poor physical function was associated with lower levels of Congregation Involvement, and with fewer feelings of Belonging. Comparing across the standardized coefficients, one would conclude that being female and being Jewish are the two strongest and most consistent correlates of these dimensions of religiousness. Jewish respondents score lower than the comparison category of Roman Catholic respondents on almost every dimension; the two exceptions are Belonging and Sad Worship Emotions, on which there are no differences among religious groups. Model R2s show that Daily Devotional Activities, Beliefs, and How Religious are somewhat better explained by demographics, health, and religious affiliation than are the other dimensions.