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Inequalities in the Spiritual Health of Young Canadians: a National, Cross-sectional Study

2016

Inequalities in the Spiritual Health of Young Canadians: a National, Cross-sectional Study

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Spiritual health, along with physical, emotional, and social aspects, is one of four domains of health. Assessment in this field of research is challenging methodologically. No contemporary population-based studies have profiled the spiritual health of adolescent Canadians with a focus on health inequalities. In a 2014 nationally representative sample of Canadians aged 11-15 years we therefore: (1) psychometrically evaluated a series of items used to assess the perceived importance of spiritual health and its four potential sub-domains (connections with: self, others, nature and the natural environment, and the transcendent) to adolescents; (2) described potential inequalities in spiritual health within adolescent populations, overall and by spiritual health sub-domain, by key socio-demographic factors. Based upon exploratory cross-sectional analyses, strong socio-demographic inequalities were observed in the spiritual health measures by age, gender, relative material wealth, immigration status, and province/territory. Study findings highlight potential inequalities in the spiritual health of young Canadians, as well as opportunities for methodological advances in the assessment of adolescent spiritual health in our population.

Michaelson, V., Freeman, J., King, N., Ascough, H., Davison, C., Trothen, T., Phillips, S., & Pickett, W. (2016). Inequalities in the spiritual health of young Canadians: a national, cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 16(1), 1200.

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