Strong spiritual engagement and subjective well-being : a naturalistic investigation of the Thaipusam festival
Mellor, David, Hapidzal, Fizlee Mohd, Teh, Kenneth, Ganesan, Raji, Yeow, James, Abdul Latif, Roslina and Cummins, Robert 2012, Strong spiritual engagement and subjective well-being : a naturalistic investigation of the Thaipusam festival, Journal of spirituality in mental health, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 209-225, doi: 10.1080/19349637.2012.697375.
The existence of a positive relationship between spiritual engagement and well-being is currently based on weak correlational evidence, generally in Western contexts. This study advances understanding through a naturalist, longitudinal study of 226 people, including Malays, Chinese, and Indians, experiencing the Hindu Thaipusam festival in Malaysia. We measured the subjective well-being of people with varying levels of engagement—from nonobservance or simply observing the festival to extreme engagement. Each person was assessed 3 months before, 2 weeks before, 2 weeks after, and 4 months after the festival. We found that the subjective well-being of those with the most extreme level of engagement was permanently higher than other groups. The well-being of those with a strong, but less extreme engagement rose at the time of the festival and remained elevated. The findings are discussed in relation to homeostatic theory of well-being and the potential benefits of spiritual engagement.
Field of Research
170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
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