This version posted is the authors' final version. The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Affilia, v. 18, no. 2 (2003):133-147. All rights reserved. © 2003 SAGE Publications. DOI: 10.1177/0886109903018002004


In order to examine the potential relationship between life satisfaction, spirituality and other demographic variables, 147 African American women from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan and Missouri were asked to complete the Adult Life Satisfaction Scale (ALSS) and the Black Women=s Spirituality/Religiosity Measure (BWSRM). In-depth interviews were also conducted with six African American women. Data obtained were subjected to correlated groups t test, Pearson r=s and regression analysis; content analysis was used to analyze the interview data. Although no significant difference was found among the ratings of life satisfaction and spirituality with respect to age or education level, the African American women did report higher levels of religiosity than spirituality which correlated significantly with life satisfaction. Analysis of a subscale of the BWSRM found that the women reported significantly higher levels of spirituality than religiosity. A moderate correlation was found between age and religiosity while spirituality was found to be a critical variable in contributing to life satisfaction in African American women at midlife, regardless of age, income or education.


Race and Ethnicity | Sociology of Culture