Religious and spiritual identities contribute to well-being

Denison’s holistic approach to Wellness allows us to acknowledge the contributions that religious and spiritual identities and practices make to student well-being.

In 2019, we began to investigate the extent to which students’ religious and spiritual practices contributed to their resilience and six specific elements within that. A random sample of respondents through the 2019 Denison Student Development Survey agree that nearly four out of seven resilience elements are influenced by their religious or spiritual practice(s). What is even more significant is the amount of agreement found for the specific, primary religious categories held by our students.

Religious/Spiritual Identity + Resilience

In the Spring 2019 Student Development survey, Religious and Spiritual Life asked respondents for the first time if belief or worldview system, or religious/spiritual practice, impacted the following elements known to support resilience:

  • contributes to my ability to bounce back or be resilient
  • provides me grounding through stressful events
  • helps me build connections with others
  • gives me opportunities for self-discovery
  • helps me nurture a positive view of myself
  • helps me maintain a hopeful outlook
  • contributes positively to my ability to take care of myself

Overall, 50% of respondents agreed that their belief or worldview system, or religious/spiritual practice, contributed to their ability to bounce back or be resilient. Overall, 50% also agreed that their belief or worldview system, or religious/spiritual practice, helped them maintain a hopeful outlook. When respondents are broken out into primary religious/spiritual identity categories, they agreed between 50-100% with 6 of 7 elements listed above, including the category “spiritual”.1

Agreement By Categories:

% of Respondents in Agreement that their belief/worldview/religious practice/spiritual practice…

Resilience Element2

Total

Christian

Jewish

Muslim

Hindu

Spiritual

…contributes to my ability to bounce back or be resilient

50%

70%

67%

100%

75%

70%

…provides me grounding through stressful events

47%

70%

50%

67%

75%

80%

…helps me build connections with others

37%

52%

67%

33%

25%

40%

…gives me opportunities for self-discovery

49%

56%

83%

67%

75%

70%

…helps me nurture a positive view of myself

49%

63%

67%

67%

50%

70%

…helps me maintain a hopeful outlook

50%

68%

67%

100%

50%

70%

…contributes positively to my ability to take care of myself

43%

57%

67%

67%

50%

70%


1Same as written in Spring 2019 Student Development Survey write-up (published on MyDenison)

2Elements adapted from APA’s “Building Your Resilience” document (2011)

Posted Date 
Monday, December 30, 2019

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