intrinsic religiousness, spirituality, adolescent mental health, Latter-Day Saint mental health


We investigated the relationships between religiousness and spirituality and various indicators of mental health and positive psychosocial functioning in three separate samples of college students. A total of 898 students at Brigham Young University participated in the three studies. The students ranged in age from 17 to 26 years old, with the average age of 20.9 across all three samples. Our results indicate that intrinsic religiousness, spiritual maturity, and self-transcendence were significantly predictive of better mental health and positive functioning, including lower levels of depression, anxiety, and obsessivecompulsiveness, and higher levels of global self-esteem, identity integration, moral selfapproval, and meaning in life. Intrinsic religiousness was not predictive of shame, perfectionism, and eating disorder symptoms. These findings are consistent with many prior studies that have found religiousness and spirituality to be positively associated with better mental health and positive psychosocial functioning in adolescents and young adults

Original Publication Citation

Sanders, P. W., Allen, G. E. K., Fischer, L., Richards, P. S., *Morgan, D. T., & *Potts, R. W. (2015). Intrinsic religiousness and spirituality as predictors of mental health and positive psychological functioning in Latter-day Saint adolescents and young adults. Journal of Religion and Health, 54(3), 871-887

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date







David O. McKay School of Education


Counseling Psychology and Special Education

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor