Spirituality is central to many Native Americans (NAs) and has been associated with recovery from substance use disorders (SUDs). However, no published questionnaire uniquely taps tribal-specific spiritual beliefs and practices. This hinders efforts to integrate traditional NA spirituality into SUD treatment and track spiritual outcomes. As part of a randomized controlled trial examining SUD treatment for NAs, we adapted the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale (DSES) in collaboration with members of a Southwest tribe to create the Native American Spirituality Scale (NASS) and measured changes in the NASS over the course of treatment. The 83 participants (70% male) were from a single Southwest tribe and seeking SUD treatment. They completed the NASS at baseline, 4, 8, and 12 months. Exploratory factor analysis of the NASS was conducted and its temporal invariance, construct validity, and longitudinal changes in the factor and item scores were examined. The NASS yielded a 2-factor structure that was largely invariant across time. Factor 1 reflected behavioral practices, while Factor 2 reflected more global beliefs. Both factors significantly increased across 12 months, albeit at different assessment points. At baseline, Factor 1 was negatively related to substance use and positively associated with measures of tribal identification while Factor 2 was unrelated to these measures. Given the importance of tribal spirituality to many NAs, the development of this psychometrically sound measure is a key precursor and complement to the incorporation of tribal spirituality into treatment, as well as research on mechanisms of change for SUD treatment among NAs and assessment of NA spirituality in relation to other aspects of health.
- Daily Spiritual Experience Scale
- Native American Spirituality Scale
- Native Americans
- Substance use disorder treatment