Spiritual Assessment and Latter-Day Saints: Establishing the Preliminary Validity of Spiritual Eco-Maps


Latter-Day Saints, assessment, spiritual eco-maps, Mormons, religion


Few spiritual assessment approaches have been validated with Latter-Day Saints (LDS), in spite of the importance of religion to this culturally distinct population and its burgeoning growth. Drawing on the concept of social validity, this mixed-method study validates a qualitative spiritual assessment approach—spiritual eco-maps—using a geographically diverse sample of social workers (N = 100), all of whom had at least 5 years of direct practice experience with LDS clients. These individuals were asked to identify: a) the degree of cultural consistency, strengths, and limitations of the spiritual eco-map at a conceptual level; and 2) how the questions designed to operationalize the approach might be improved to be more valid, relevant, and consistent with LDS culture. The results suggest that spiritual eco-maps are consistent with LDS culture as long as they are operationalized appropriately. Toward this end, a culturally valid question protocol is provided along with suggestions for administering the instrument in a culturally competent manner. Spiritual eco-maps may be particularly useful in settings where a quick, visually oriented assessment that focuses on clients’ present relationships is indicated. Future research might build upon the present study by assessing the validity of spiritual eco-maps with both community and client samples.

Original Publication Citation

Hodge, D. R., & Limb, G. (2014). Spiritual assessment and Latter-day Saints: Establishing the preliminary validity of spiritual eco-maps. Journal of Social Service Research, 40(3), 367-380.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL



Journal of Social Service Research




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Social Work

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor