Direct and mediated associations between religious coping, spirituality, and youth violence in El Salvador

Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Rene Olate, Michael George Vaughn, Thanh V. Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. To examine the direct and mediated relationships between religious coping, spirituality, social developmental factors, and violence among high-risk and gang-involved youth in a high-crime, Latin American country. Methods. Using a community sample of 290 high-risk and gang-involved youth in San Salvador, El Salvador, structural equation modeling was employed to examine the relationships between religious coping, spirituality, social developmental factors (e.g., antisocial bond and antisocial beliefs), and violence. Results. Religious coping (β = -0.14, P < 0.05) and spirituality (β = -0.20, P < 0.01) were both significantly associated with antisocial bond. Antisocial bond, in turn, was directly associated with violence (β = 0.70, P < 0.001) and was associated with antisocial beliefs (β = 0.54, P < 0.001); however, the path from antisocial beliefs to violence was not statistically significant. No direct paths were identified from religiosity and spirituality to violence. The goodness-of-fit statistics (root mean square error of approximation, 0.034; comparative fit index, 0.974; and Tucker-Lewis index, 0.966) suggest that the final model had acceptable fit. Conclusions. This study is among the first to shed light on the relationship between religiosity, spirituality, and youth violence in the Latin American context. Elevated levels of religious coping and spirituality are associated with less antisocial bonding, which, in turn, is associated with lower levels of violent behavior among high-risk and gang-involved Salvadoran youth. Study findings suggest that religious coping and spirituality are indirectly protective for youth violence among this high-risk population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-189
Number of pages7
JournalRevista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health
Volume34
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sep 1

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El Salvador
Spirituality
Violence
Crime

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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title = "Direct and mediated associations between religious coping, spirituality, and youth violence in El Salvador",
abstract = "Objective. To examine the direct and mediated relationships between religious coping, spirituality, social developmental factors, and violence among high-risk and gang-involved youth in a high-crime, Latin American country. Methods. Using a community sample of 290 high-risk and gang-involved youth in San Salvador, El Salvador, structural equation modeling was employed to examine the relationships between religious coping, spirituality, social developmental factors (e.g., antisocial bond and antisocial beliefs), and violence. Results. Religious coping (β = -0.14, P < 0.05) and spirituality (β = -0.20, P < 0.01) were both significantly associated with antisocial bond. Antisocial bond, in turn, was directly associated with violence (β = 0.70, P < 0.001) and was associated with antisocial beliefs (β = 0.54, P < 0.001); however, the path from antisocial beliefs to violence was not statistically significant. No direct paths were identified from religiosity and spirituality to violence. The goodness-of-fit statistics (root mean square error of approximation, 0.034; comparative fit index, 0.974; and Tucker-Lewis index, 0.966) suggest that the final model had acceptable fit. Conclusions. This study is among the first to shed light on the relationship between religiosity, spirituality, and youth violence in the Latin American context. Elevated levels of religious coping and spirituality are associated with less antisocial bonding, which, in turn, is associated with lower levels of violent behavior among high-risk and gang-involved Salvadoran youth. Study findings suggest that religious coping and spirituality are indirectly protective for youth violence among this high-risk population.",
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Direct and mediated associations between religious coping, spirituality, and youth violence in El Salvador. / Salas-Wright, Christopher P.; Olate, Rene; Vaughn, Michael George; Tran, Thanh V.

In: Revista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 34, No. 3, 01.09.2013, p. 183-189.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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N2 - Objective. To examine the direct and mediated relationships between religious coping, spirituality, social developmental factors, and violence among high-risk and gang-involved youth in a high-crime, Latin American country. Methods. Using a community sample of 290 high-risk and gang-involved youth in San Salvador, El Salvador, structural equation modeling was employed to examine the relationships between religious coping, spirituality, social developmental factors (e.g., antisocial bond and antisocial beliefs), and violence. Results. Religious coping (β = -0.14, P < 0.05) and spirituality (β = -0.20, P < 0.01) were both significantly associated with antisocial bond. Antisocial bond, in turn, was directly associated with violence (β = 0.70, P < 0.001) and was associated with antisocial beliefs (β = 0.54, P < 0.001); however, the path from antisocial beliefs to violence was not statistically significant. No direct paths were identified from religiosity and spirituality to violence. The goodness-of-fit statistics (root mean square error of approximation, 0.034; comparative fit index, 0.974; and Tucker-Lewis index, 0.966) suggest that the final model had acceptable fit. Conclusions. This study is among the first to shed light on the relationship between religiosity, spirituality, and youth violence in the Latin American context. Elevated levels of religious coping and spirituality are associated with less antisocial bonding, which, in turn, is associated with lower levels of violent behavior among high-risk and gang-involved Salvadoran youth. Study findings suggest that religious coping and spirituality are indirectly protective for youth violence among this high-risk population.

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