First Advisor

Douglas L. Robertson

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education


Educational Leadership and Policy




Spiritual life, Health education



Physical Description

3, x, 154 leaves 28 cm.


Health education uses a holistic, multi-dimensional perspective (Hoyman, 1961; Donatelle, 1991; Hales, 1992). In recent years an emergent issue in health education is concern for disproportionate representation among the human dimensions--emotional, social, physical, intellectual, spiritual. Discussion occurs over the apparent underrepresentation of spiritual health in health education materials (Chandler & Kolander, 1990). While the professional literature contains articles discussing the under-representation of spiritual health (Jose & Taylor, 1986; Bensley, 1991), no empirical studies are available to assess the current status of spiritual health in health education materials or the spiritual health attitudes of health educators. This study provides empirical data on the status of spiritual health in health education materials and health educators' attitudes towards spiritual health in the university and college setting. A descriptive research study was done on the university and college members of The Association for the Advancement of Health Education (AAHE). A spiritual health survey was developed to provide insights into AAHE university/college health educators and sent to 500 random AAHE members nationally. This study was pretested for surface validity. A response rate of 52% (N=256) was achieved. The survey covered: (a) spiritual health attitudes, (b) attitudes toward including spiritual health in college general health courses, (c) current practices about including spiritual health in curriculum, and (d) spiritual health training. The major findings are: 1. respondents expressed attitudes that supported spiritual health's importance and influence on the wellbeing of an individual; 2. respondents expressed concerns about including spiritual health in college general health courses, but supported the concept; 3. of those respondents who currently teach a college general health course, 65.6% (N=82) include spiritual health; 4. spiritual health is currently included in college courses on a limited bases 5. a connection exists between spiritual health training experiences and respondents' attitudes toward spiritual health.


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