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Spiritual Fitness and Resilience

Spiritual Fitness and Resilience: A Review of Relevant Constructs, Measures, and Links to Well-Being

Douglas Yeung
Margret T. Martin
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 70
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  • Book Info
    Spiritual Fitness and Resilience
    Book Description:

    This report is one of a series designed to support Air Force leaders in promoting resilience among its Airmen, civilian employees, and Air Force families. It examines the relationship between spiritual fitness and resilience, using key constructs found in the scientific literature: a spiritual worldview, personal religious or spiritual practices, support from a spiritual community, and spiritual coping.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8378-4
    Subjects: Population Studies, Health Sciences, Management & Organizational Behavior

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Summary
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  7. 1. The Context of This Report
    (pp. 1-4)

    This report is one of a series designed to support Air Force leaders in promoting resilience among Airmen, its civilian employees, and Air Force family members. The research sponsors requested that RAND assess the current resilience-related constructs and measures in the scientific literature and report any evidence of initiatives that promote resilience across a number of domains. We did not limit our search to research conducted in military settings or with military personnel, as Air Force leaders sought the potential opportunity to apply the results of these studies to a population that had not yet been addressed (i.e., Airmen). Further,...

  8. 2. Spiritual Fitness Definition and Key Constructs
    (pp. 5-28)

    The importance of certain fitness domains, such as physical and psychological fitness, is intuitive, but it is not immediately apparent how spiritual fitness may be beneficial for Air Force readiness and resilience. Yet, for many people, spiritual beliefs influence their outlook on the world tremendously, offer solace in turbulent times, and provide support from a like-minded community. These beliefs may thus contribute to resilience and wellbeing and result in improved force readiness and performance. This report discusses spiritual fitness as defined by the Air Force and as conceptualized by the empirical literature. We identify key constructs of spiritual fitness and...

  9. 3. Interventions to Promote Spiritual Fitness
    (pp. 29-38)

    What can be done to enhance spiritual fitness? Various existing interventions (e.g., programs, counseling, or therapy) attempt to bolster spirituality, including some of its key constructs. To explore how the Air Force might improve spiritual fitness across the force, we sought out examples of religious or spiritual interventions that influenced these key factors for resilience and well-being. Specifically, we began by searching for (1) interventions that used the most widely adopted spiritual fitness metrics (e.g., the SWBS) and (2) empirical evidence of these interventions’ efficacy.

    Our search uncovered numerous efforts to bolster spirituality and encourage spiritual growth, although far fewer...

  10. 4. Concluding Thoughts
    (pp. 39-42)

    After reviewing research on spirituality and religion, we identified key factors that appear to influence resilience and well-being. We investigated general relationships between spiritual fitness constructs and outcomes related to resilience and well-being. Spiritual fitness may influence resilience and well-being outcomes either directly, or indirectly by buffering stress. Finally, we explored interventions designed to address these spirituality constructs at various levels.

    Spirituality appears to be largely beneficial for well-being. Koenig and colleagues (2012) reviewed 102 studies in 2000, 81 of which found positive associations between spirituality and well-being. Since that review, they found an additional 224 studies, 175 of which...

  11. Bibliography
    (pp. 43-56)