Poloma and Pendleton's (1989) Prayer Types Scale in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim praying adults: One scale or a family of scales?

Stephanie Winkeljohn Black, Patrick Pössel, Benjamin D. Jeppsen, Afia Tariq, David H. Rosmarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The psychological relevance of private prayer is an important area of inquiry, with researchers examining prayer typologies and prayer's associations to mental health (e.g., Poloma & Pendleton, 1989, 1991). However, many of the field's measures are limited by the use of predominately Christian samples for scale construction. The utility of Poloma and Pendleton's (1989) Prayer Types Scale, proposing a 4-factor prayer typology, has not been validated in non-Christian samples. This cross-sectional, online study sought to determine whether the Prayer Types Scale's 4-factor structure and associations to mental health variables would be upheld across Christians (n = 274), Jews (n = 156), and Muslims (n = 140). Multigroup analysis in AMOS was used to determine whether the factor structure of the Prayer Types Scale was equivalent across groups; results demonstrated that there was partial nonequivalence across groups. Revised prayer subscales were calculated for each religious group independently to account for this nonequivalence. The subscales had adequate internal consistencies across the subsamples, with the exception of Ritual prayer in the Muslim subsample. Finally, correlations were calculated to determine whether all subsamples had similar associations between prayer types and mental health variables. Results indicated differences among these associations for the 3 groups. The overall generalizability of the measure, as well as the implications and limitations, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-216
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology of Religion and Spirituality
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Religious studies
  • Applied Psychology


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