Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health

ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year
: 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 1010--1014

A study of the relationship between the components of spiritual health and happiness of students at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in 2016


Nasrin Jalilian1, Arash Ziapour2, Zahra Mokari1, Neda Kianipour2,  
1 Maternity Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran
2 Research Center for Environmental Determinants of Health, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Arash Ziapour
Research Center for Environmental Determinants of Health, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah
Iran

Abstract

Background: Spiritual health is regarded as one of the major dimensions of human health and an important approach in public health. On the other hand, happiness plays a vital role in mental and physical health and efficient social participation. Objective: The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between the components of spiritual well-being and happiness of students at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in 2016. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional and correlational study, the statistical population consisted of all students at the Midwifery, Paramedics, Health, and Nursing Schools at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in 2016. The sample size was determined through the Cochran's sample size formula, and 277 students were selected through the simple random sampling. Further, for data collection, the spiritual health scale by Paloutzian and Ellison and the Argyle's revised Oxford happiness questionnaire were utilized. Then, data were analyzed through the descriptive (percentage, mean, and standard deviation) and inferential statistics (Pearson's correlation coefficient) in the SPSS Statistics Software version 21.0. Results: In the present study, the mean scores and standard deviations of students' spiritual health and happiness measured 3.95 ± 0.47 and 3.38 ± 0.24, respectively. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that there was a significant and positive relationship between the students' spiritual health and happiness. Further, the results of the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient revealed that the correlation coefficient between the students' spiritual health and happiness measured 0.51. Conclusions: The results revealed that the students' spiritual health and happiness at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences were average, and they significantly and positively correlated. Hence, it is recommended that the contents of spirituality, spiritual health, and their significance be incorporated in the core curriculums in universities.



How to cite this article:
Jalilian N, Ziapour A, Mokari Z, Kianipour N. A study of the relationship between the components of spiritual health and happiness of students at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in 2016.Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1010-1014


How to cite this URL:
Jalilian N, Ziapour A, Mokari Z, Kianipour N. A study of the relationship between the components of spiritual health and happiness of students at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in 2016. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Apr 3 ];10:1010-1014
Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/4/1010/215883


Full Text



 Introduction



Spirituality is a fundamental concept that has appealed to many psychologists and mental health professionals over the past few decades.[1] Nowadays, given the spiritual dimension of health, many suggestions have been presented for the inclusion of spiritual health in the definition provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the form of one of the dimensions of health.[2] In the WHO's classification system of diseases known as “International Classification of Diseases-10,” the mental dimension was incorporated, too. Just like the relationship and interaction between the physical, mental, and WHO social dimensions, one's mental and spiritual health correlates with other dimensions of health, and they should be taken into consideration, too.[3]

The incorporation of spiritual health in the concept of health was proposed by Osman and Russell, which familiarized the experts in health with one of the major aspects of personal and group life.[4] In fact, the spiritual health, alongside other dimensions of health, is the latest dimension of health which coordinates the physical, psychological, and social aspects.[5],[6] In general, spiritual health denotes one's enjoyment of senses of acceptance, positive emotions, ethics, and positive mutual connection together with a superior and divine power ensuing from a dynamic and harmonious cognitive, emotional, and functional process.[7],[8] Some researchers are of the opinion that the spiritual health components can have tremendous effects on the physical health. Even these components can prevent physical diseases.[9],[10] Given that happiness is seen as one of the major mental needs of human beings and the fact that it has major effects on people's lives, happiness has been preoccupying them for a long time. Vitality and joy are the basic and essential needs of human beings, and they can be considered the major factors of the health of families and societies. In addition, hopefulness, efforts, and progress can become possible within a happy life.[11],[12] Various studies have been conducted about the relationship between students' spiritual health and happiness. For instance, Ebadi et al. showed that happiness significantly correlated with all of the dimensions of spiritual health.[13] The results of a study performed by Mozafarinia et al. demonstrated that there were significant positive relationships between the students' happiness and all of the dimensions of spiritual health.[14] Alimohammade and Janbozorge showed that there was a significant positive relationship between the psychological happiness and religious orientation as opposed to a negative relationship between the religious happiness and depression.[15] In a study conducted about teens, Francis et al. reported that happiness and religious attitudes were significantly correlated.[16] The results of a study performed by Saez et al. revealed that hopefulness, happiness, and internal religious orientation had significant positive correlations with spiritual health.[17] Nowadays, university students are faced with numerous stresses, thereby endangering their mental and physical health. Under such circumstances, spirituality acts as a useful resource.[18] However, university students have higher levels of knowledge, emotions, and spiritual health, they will have more lasting happiness.[14] The spiritual health of citizens, especially students, is necessary for the dynamism, development, and advancement of societies.[19]

Thus, it can be claimed that strengthening spirituality among students, as an important factor in health promotion, would lead to improvements in their mental health and happiness.[20]

Given the significance of happiness in one's mental and physical well-being and its positive effects on the morale and performance of students, clarifying the importance of the spiritual dimension and its effects on health requires this relationship to be explained. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the relationship between the components of spiritual well-being and happiness of students at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in 2016.

 Materials and Methods



In this cross-sectional and correlational study, the statistical population consisted of all students at the Midwifery, Paramedics, Health and Nursing Schools at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in 2016. The sample size was determined through the Cochran's sample size formula, and 277 students were selected through the simple random sampling. Further, for data collection, a demographic questionnaire, the spiritual health scale by Paloutzian and Ellison and the Argyle's revised Oxford happiness questionnaire were utilized.[21] In addition, the inclusion criteria were agreement to participate in the research and studying in the first semester of the academic year 2015–2016, whereas the incomplete questionnaires, university dropouts, and those failing to return the questionnaires were excluded from the study.

The demographic questionnaire

This section consisted of questions on gender, age, field of study, degree, mode of residence, and interest in one's major.

The spiritual health scale

This 20-item scale, developed by Paloutzian and Ellison (1979), consisted of two parts: religious and existential, with 10 questions in each part on six-point Likert scale, attracting a score in the range of 10–60.[22] More to the point, for the positively worded questions, the numerical scoring scale run as follows: 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = somewhat disagree, 4 = somewhat agree, 5 = agree, 6 = strongly agree. Conversely, for negatively worded questions, the reverse scoring was employed as follows: 1 = strongly agree, 2 = agree, 3 = somewhat agree, 4 = somewhat disagree, 5 = disagree, 6 = strongly disagree. Moreover, the validity and reliability of the scale have been confirmed in Iran and other countries Ziapour et al., 2017; Alahbakhshian et al., 2010; and Paloutzian and Ellison CW, 2005.[6],[23],[24]

The oxford happiness inventory

This instrument, first introduced by Argyle and Lu, is one of the most popular instruments in the field of self-evaluation, which has been used in most of studies into happiness. This questionnaire consisted of 29 questions with four-point Likert scale (1 = never, 2 = rarely, 3 = sometimes, 4 = always) and five dimensions: satisfaction with life, self-esteem, subjective well-being, satisfaction, and positive mood.[25] The total score of the questionnaire was in the range from 0 to 87. A Cronbach's alpha of 93% and test-retest reliability coefficient of 92% were reported for this questionnaire.[26]

To commence the study, the required permits were obtained from the Vice Chancellery for the Department of Research and Technology at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences and the selected colleges. To determine the normal distribution of data, the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test was applied. Further, to determine the relationship between the different dimensions of personality traits and happiness, the Pearson correlation coefficient was used. In addition, the Pearson correlation coefficient with repeated measures and stepwise multiple regression were employed to predict the level of happiness based on the dimensions of personality traits. All tests were analyzed through the SPSS Statistics 21 Software at the significance level of 0.05 (P < 0.05).

 Results



In this study, of the whole 277 subjects under the study, the male population accounted for 49.5% (137 subjects), and the rest (140 subjects or 50.5%) were female. The mean and standard deviation of the age of subjects were 23.09 ± 4.6, and the 21–30 age group was in the majority (148 subjects or 53.4%). In addition, a large proportion of the population were doing bachelor's degrees (207 subjects or 74.4%). Moreover, 126 subjects (45.5%) were majoring in health. Furthermore, in terms of the mode of residence, 45.8% of the subjects (127 students) were residing in dormitories. In addition, 167 subjects (60.3%) had the highest interests in their majors [Table 1].{Table 1}

The mean scores and standard deviations of students' spiritual health and happiness are shown in [Table 2]. As for the subscales of spiritual health, the existential well-being had the highest mean and standard deviation (3.46 ± 0.48), while the religious well-being held the lowest mean and standard deviation (3.73 ± 0.70). As for the subscales of happiness, self-esteem had the highest mean and standard deviation (3.48 ± 0.36), while the subjective well-being held the lowest mean and standard deviation (3.31 ± 0.50) [Table 2]. The mean scores of spiritual well-being and happiness measured 3.59 ± 0.47 and 3.38 ± 0.24, respectively [Table 2].{Table 2}

Besides, the results of the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient revealed that there was a significant positive relationship between the students' spiritual health and happiness (P < 0.001 and r = 0.51) [Table 3].{Table 3}

 Discussion



The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between the components of spiritual well-being and happiness of students at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences in 2016.

The results of the present study showed that the students' spiritual health and happiness at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences were average. In the present study, the mean score and standard deviation of students' spiritual health measured 3.95 ± 0.47. It can be expressed that such results are expected from the Iranian society where religious and spiritual issues are valued. However, the Iran's religious atmosphere might have influenced how the respondents answered the questions. The results of studies performed by Hsiao et al., Alahbakhshian et al., Rezaee et al., and Chavoshian et al.[1],[23],[27],[28] were indicative of the higher score of existential well-being than that of religious well-being, which was consistent with the results of the present study. The results of the present study showed that the mean score and standard deviation of students' happiness at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences were average (3.38 ± 0.24). This finding was concurrent with the results of studies conducted by Parviz et al., Al-Naggar et al.,[29],[30] and Sameera et al.[31] In addition, the results of the present study indicated that the students' spiritual health significantly and positively correlated with happiness. In other words, the higher one's spiritual health, the higher his/her happiness will be.

Furthermore, the results were indicative of the fact that there were significant relationships between the students' happiness and all of the dimensions of spiritual health. This finding was consistent with the results of studies done by Jamali and Abasi,[32] Watson and Clark,[33] Judge and Bono,[34] and Davis and Bordieri;[35] Ebadi et al.[13] showed that there were significant correlations between all of the dimensions of spiritual health and happiness. Similarly, Mozafarinia et al.[14] showed that there was a direct relationship between one's spirituality and happiness. In addition, in a study conducted by Taghadosi and Fahimifar, it was concluded that low levels of depression were experienced by people with high levels of spirituality. Furthermore, Rahimi et al. concluded that the spiritual health of nursing and midwifery students was average.[36] Besides, Hsiao et al. showed that spiritual health had negative relationships with clinical stress and depression, whereas a positive relationship was reported between spiritual health and health-promoting behaviors.[37] In a study performed by Ziapour et al., it was demonstrated that the mean score of university students' religious well-being exceeded that of existential well-being.[6] Manzari-Tavakoli and Eraqipoor concluded that there was a positive relationship between one's happiness and religiosity.[38] From Shaw's point of view, since fleeting pleasures remain for a short period, human beings have always been looking for more lasting pleasures, and activities that people do in their search for spirituality, including helping and caring for others, can lead to happiness.[39]

The results of a study conducted by Mookerjee and Beron revealed that the levels of happiness experienced by the citizen of countries with one religion exceeded those in countries practicing more than one religion.[40]

 Conclusions



The results of the present study revealed that the students' spiritual health and happiness at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences were average, and their spiritual health and happiness significantly and positively correlated. Hence, it is recommended that the contents of spirituality, spiritual health, and their significance be included in the core curriculums in universities. Therefore, however, universities invest in the spiritual health of students, it will result in their happiness and increase their achievements, thereby students can take major steps toward their scientific and spiritual progress with more satisfaction and positive mood.

Acknowledgments

The authors hereby bestow much gratitude to all students at the Midwifery, Paramedics, Health and Nursing Schools at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences for their participation in the present study.

Financial support and sponsorship

The research funding for this study was partially provided by Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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