Searchable Title

Measuring Beliefs About Suffering: Development of the Views of Suffering Scale. Copyright: American Psychological Association.

Searchable Authors

A Hale-Smith
C L. Park
D Edmondson

Reference Type

Journal Article

Authors, Section

Hale-Smith, A.; Park, C. L.; Edmondson, D.

Title, Section

Measuring Beliefs About Suffering: Development of the Views of Suffering Scale. Copyright: American Psychological Association.

Publication Year

2012

Journal Title

Psychological Assessment

Volume

24

Issue

4

Pages

855-66

Availability

online

PMID

PMID: 22369650

DOI

10.1037/a0027399

Abstract

Efforts to measure religion have intensified, and many specific dimensions have been identified. However, although belief is a core dimension of all world religions, little attention has been given to assessment of religious beliefs. In particular, 1 essential set of religious beliefs, those concerning the reasons for human suffering, has remained virtually unexamined despite the potential clinical relevance of these beliefs. To fill the need for a measure of people's beliefs about suffering, we developed the Views of Suffering Scale (VOSS). Analyses identified factors related to traditional Christian teachings, unorthodox theistic beliefs, karma, and randomness. Internal consistency and test-retest reliability for VOSS subscale scores were good (αs and rs ≥ .70). Comparisons to measures of related constructs suggest that the VOSS scores demonstrate good convergent validity. One subscale score was modestly correlated with social desirability related to image management, and 7 were positively correlated to self-deceptive enhancement. These preliminary studies suggest that the VOSS differentiates religious perspectives on suffering among a sample of U.S. university students, though more research is needed to confirm its utility in diverse populations. The VOSS provides a valid way to measure individuals' beliefs about suffering, allowing for inquiry into the factors that lead to various beliefs about suffering and the roles of these beliefs in adjusting to stressful life events.

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