Spiritual Well-Being in the United States and Sweden, 1979

Data Archive > International Surveys and Data > Multiple Nation Surveys > Summary


During the 1970's, the increasing societal and scholarly recognition of the central importance of spirituality to personal and social well-being was coupled with a growing need in the social and behavioral sciences to develop tools to conceptualize and operationally measure spiritual well-being. This study was based on the assumptions that religion and spirituality overlap but are not synonyms. The primary focus of attention was upon relationships among variables in diverse populations from two national cultures.

Data File
Cases: 1,054
Variables: 84
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: April 1978 to February 1979
Funded By
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Marquette University; Sociology of Religion Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Institute for Advanced Christian Studies
Collection Procedures
The data were collected using a survey of respondents in 17 group settings in five states in three regions of the United States and 15 groups from all major regions of Sweden. The questionnaire was filled out in either a group setting or as an interview schedule. The American groups were composed of participants in educational and religious organizations. No Swedish respondents were located in regular academic settings. Instead, the respondents in Sweden come from high school classes, family camps, an alcoholism and drug rehabilitation program, church-related short courses, nursing home patients and staffs of nursing and health facilities.
Sampling Procedures
The population from which the United States data were collected consisted more of students than of any other category of people. Except for a Protestant church in Wisconsin, a theological seminary in Tennessee, and a graduate-level gerontological center in California, respondents were from Catholic, Protestant and state colleges and one Catholic seminary in Minnesota, Indiana and Wisconsin. Surveys were conducted in classes or church settings that encouraged cooperation by 100% of those in attendance (total response rate for the United States, 98.6%).

The populations from which data were collected in Sweden were predominantly non-student groups. These included retirement centers, summer camps, churches, an alcoholism and drug rehabilitation program, and a youth leadership training program.
Principal Investigators
David O. Moberg
Related Publications
Moberg, David O. Subjective Measures of Spiritual Well-Being. Review of Religious Research 25(4):351-364.

Moberg, David O. The Paradox of Modern Evangelical Christianity: The United States and Sweden. Comparative Social Research 10:47-99.