Association of Spirituality With Mental Health Conditions in Ohio National Guard Soldiers
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Research exploring spirituality in military populations is a relatively new field with limited published reports. This study used the Spiritual Well-Being Scale to examine the association of spiritual well-being with suicidal ideation/behavior, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression and alcohol use disorders in a randomized sample of Ohio Army National Guard soldiers. The participants were 418 soldiers, mostly white and male, with nearly three-quarters indicating that they had been deployed at least once during their careers. Higher spirituality, especially in the existential well-being subscale, was associated with significantly less lifetime PTSD, depression, and alcohol use disorders and with less suicidal ideation over the past year. Future research in this area may benefit from a longitudinal design that can assess spirituality and mental health behaviors in addition to diagnoses at different time points, to begin to explore spirituality in a larger context.
author list (cited authors)
Ganocy, S. J., Goto, T., Chan, P. K., Cohen, G. H., Sampson, L., Galea, S., ... Tamburrino, M. B.