Melissa Mokel, PhD
“Fetzer/NIA Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness and Spirituality: Modification and Psychometric Testing in a Black Population”
The overall purpose of this study was to conduct psychometric testing of the NIA (National Institute on Aging)/Fetzer Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness and Spirituality (FMMRS), in a sample population of Black, community-dwelling, older adults. This study was undertaken in two phases: (a) focus group inquiry (N = 15) and modification of the FMMRS and (b) administration of a modified version of the FMMRS (M-FMMRS) to a separate sample (N = 130) for psychometric testing. Data collected from administration of the M-FMMRS were used to measure the fit of a hypothesized model using confirmatory factor analysis. Three approaches (overall fit statistics, examination of localized areas of strain, and examination of model parameter estimates) were used to evaluate the validity of the hypothesized measurement model. The key findings of focus group inquiry were that: (a) self-rating on religiousness was uncomfortable for many participants, (b) selfless was a word many participants confused with selfish, and (c) spirituality was an important concept that warranted inclusion in one of the domains. Confirmatory factor analytic data was used for model evaluation and it was concluded that the data collected from this sample did not support the hypothesized M-FMMRS four factor structure. Exploratory factor analysis resulted in five factors that were descriptive of religious and spiritual experiences. Several reasons for the poorly fitting data to the measurement model were surmised and were all proposed to be related to either teachings of Black churches or to distinct cultural characteristics. Implications for further research were presented.
Pictured above (from left to right):
Dr. Deborah McDonald, Dr. Henrietta Bernal, Dr. Melissa Mokel, Dr. Juliette Shellman, and Dr. Elizabeth Anderson