Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type



Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Michael A. Andrykowski

Second Advisor

Charles R. Carlson


There are substantial data exploring the link between religiosity and health, yet there is no consensus regarding the appropriate measurement tool for assessing religiosity in health psychology settings. The purpose of this study was to identify a set of items that could serve as a reliable and valid proxy measure of religiosity. Participants included 251 (M=19.02; range = 17-25) young adults who completed self-report measures of religiosity (Intrinsic-Extrinsic/Revised, Quest Scale, Faith Maturity Scale), psychological distress (SCL-90-R), and personality (NEOPI-R). Individual item pools for religiosity were developed by identifying significant correlations between each of the religiosity measures and the SCL-90-R items. Exploratory factor analyses and item-level analyses were conducted and convergent and discriminant validity were examined for each proposed measure. A group of items were identified that were associated with previously validated measures of religiosity. These religiosity measures were also associated with the personality domains of Openness to Experience and Agreeableness but were not associated with Neuroticism. There was insufficient evidence, however, to conclude that the proposed measures could serve as true proxy measures of religiosity as they were more strongly associated with Neuroticism than the religiosity measures from which they were derived. The results of this study underscore the importance of the religiosity construct to health-related outcomes, yet much work remains to delineate the optimal means of measuring the construct and the specific pathways by which religiosity may exert its influence on both mental and physical health.