Purpose: The purpose of this study was threefold: 1) to describe spiritual well-being (existential and religious well-being) in adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) versus healthy peers; 2) to examine associations of spiritual well-being with mental health outcomes (emotional functioning and depressive symptoms); and 3) to assess the differential impact of existential versus religious well-being on mental health. Methods: A total of 155 adolescents aged 11-19 years from a children's hospital and a university hospital filled out questionnaires including the Spiritual Well-Being Scale, the Children's Depression Inventory-Short Form, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory. Covariates in multivariable models included demographics, disease status, and interactions. Results: Participants' mean (SD) age was 15.1 (2.0) years; 80 (52%) were male; and 121 (78%) were of white ethnicity. Levels of existential and religious well-being were similar between adolescents with IBD and healthy peers. In multivariable analyses, existential well-being was associated with mental health (partial R2 change = .08-.11, p < .01) above and beyond other characteristics (total R2 = .23, p < .01). Presence of disease moderated both the relationship between existential well-being and emotional functioning and that between religious well-being and depressive symptoms: that is, the relationships were stronger in adolescents with IBD as compared with healthy peers. Religious well-being was only marginally significantly associated with mental health after controlling for other factors. Conclusions: Although both healthy adolescents and those with IBD had high levels of spiritual well-being, having IBD moderated the relationship between spiritual well-being and mental health. Meaning/purpose was related to mental health more than was connectedness to the sacred.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health