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Spirituality, depression, and anxiety among ocean surfers

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Item Summary

Title: Spirituality, depression, and anxiety among ocean surfers
Authors: Amrhein, Michael Robert
Keywords: surfing
Issue Date: May 2013
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2013]
Abstract: Although research on the psychological correlates of ocean surfing is scarce, substantial anecdotal evidence suggests that the sport offers a uniquely positive experience for surfers. Prior research has demonstrated that surfers report fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than the general population, but no explanation for these findings has been identified (Levin & Taylor, 2011). Greater spirituality has been correlated with lower depression and anxiety, and many surfers have described surfing as a spiritual experience, indicating a potential connection between surfing and spirituality. The current study had several goals. The first goal was to partially replicate previous findings that surfers in California report less depressive and anxiety symptoms than the general population with a more geographically diverse sample of surfers (Levin & Taylor, 2011). The second goal was to determine whether a geographically diverse group of surfers report a higher level of spirituality than the general population. The third goal of this study was to determine whether spirituality is related to depression and anxiety in this sample of surfers. The fourth goal was to determine whether the surfing experience is related to general spirituality. The fifth and final goal of this study was to determine whether the surfing experience is related to levels of depression and anxiety. One hundred surfers were recruited from the Hawaiian Islands and the Mid-Atlantic region of the East Coast. Participants were asked to complete a survey consisting of a consent form, a demographics questionnaire, the Spirituality Assessment Scale (SAS; Howden, 1992), the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II; Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996), and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI; Beck & Steer, 1993). The demographics questionnaire was used for descriptive purposes as well as an estimate for surfing-specific spiritual experiences. Scores on the SAS, BDI-II, and BAI were compared to available cutoff scores for each measure to provide a preliminary interpretation of the sample's scores. Independent samples t-tests were also conducted to compare the scores on the SAS, BDI-II, and BAI with comparative normative groups. Correlational analyses on the scores of these measures were also computed to determine the relationship between reported levels of spirituality and the reported levels of depression and anxiety. Correlational analyses were also conducted to determine if any relationships existed between the surfing experience and spirituality, depression, and anxiety. Results of these analyses indicate that surfers from the Hawaiian Islands and the East Coast report fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than most available comparative normative groups. Results also indicate that a relationship exists between reported greater levels of spirituality and reported lower levels of depressive symptomatology. Finally, the results show that a significant relationship exists between the surfing experience and reported levels of spirituality. The importance and limitations of these findings are discussed, as are implications for future research directions.
Description: M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/101813
Appears in Collections:M.A. - Psychology



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