Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Clinical and Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Joseph, Currier, Ph.D.


Spirituality and religion can play an integral role in physical and mental health outcomes in positive and negative ways (Pargament, 2013; Rosmarin, 2018). While there are established screener items to determine positive utilization of spirituality, there are no existing screener measures for spiritual struggles. The Religious and Spiritual Struggles scale (RSS; Exline et al., 2014) is considered the gold standard for measuring spiritual struggles yet is too lengthy to be used as a screener. The present study sought to develop a brief spiritual distress screener for use in healthcare settings. Phase 1 of the study utilized secondary datasets in which the RSS was implemented across seven samples in inpatient, residential, treatment-seeking, and community-based settings. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted on the overall sample to identify items that load highly on factors with low cross-loadings. Phase 2 utilized a community-based outpatient sample to assess internal consistency and concurrent validity of the screener using total scores of the CORE-10 and PHQ-2. Overall, this study provides a clinically relevant and easy to implement screener for use in healthcare settings that will, in turn, improve overall health and treatment outcomes for those who experience spiritual struggles.