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Spirituality and Cultural Identification Among Latino and Non-Latino College Students

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The purposes of this study were to examine (a) differences in spiritual perspectives and practices of Latino and non-Latino young adults and (b) the cultural relevance of the Latino Spiritual Perspective Scale (LSPS). Studies indicate that spiritual perspectives are embedded within cultural group norms and vary significantly across ethnic groups. A cross-sectional survey design was used with a convenience sample of 223 Latino and non-Latino university students in the Southwestern United States. The Spiritual Perspective Scale (SPS), the LSPS, the Orthogonal Cultural Identification Scale, and a demographic questionnaire were used. Latinos scored significantly higher than non-Latinos in both measures of spiritual perspectives. Self-reported behavioral measures, such as frequency of personal prayer, were also higher among the Latino group. Latino cultural identification was the only significant predictor of LSPS scores. Findings from this study indicate that spirituality among Latinos has meanings specific to the cultural group context. These findings have implications for nursing research involving the conceptualization and measurement of spirituality among multiethnic groups.

Spanish
Los propósitos de este estudio eran examinar: (a) diferencias en perspectivas espirituales y prácticas de jóvenes Latinos y no Latinos; y (b) la relevancia cultural de la Escala de la Perspectiva Espiritual Latina. Estudios indican que perspectivas espirituales están incrustadas entre normas culturales del grupo y varían considerablemente entre grupos étnicos. Un diseño transversal y de encuesta fue utilizado con una muestra de conveniencia de 233 estudiantes universitarios Latinos y no Latinos en el Suroeste de los Estados Unidos. La Escala de la Perspectiva Espiritual (EPE), la Escala de la Perspectiva Espiritual Latina (EPEL), la Escala Ortogonal de Identificación Cultural, y un cuestionario demográfico fueron utilizados. Los Latinos calificaron considerablemente más alto que los no Latinos en ambas medidas de perspectivas espirituales. Medidas de comportamiento auto-reportadas, como la frecuencia de oración, también estuvieron más altas en el grupo Latino. La identificación con la cultura Latina fue el único vaticinador de las calificaciones de la EPEL. Los resultados de este estudio indican que la espiritualidad entre Latinos tiene significados específicos al contexto del grupo cultural. Estas conclusiones tienen implicaciones para las investigaciones de enfermería que involucran la conceptualización y medida de la espiritualidad entre grupos multiétnicos.
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Keywords: CULTURAL IDENTIFICATION; INSTRUMENTATION; RELIGIOUS PRACTICES; SPIRITUALITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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