Various recent studies show the positive impact of a person's religiosity or spirituality on his or her ethical inclination and leadership effectiveness. UCLA's Higher Education Institute's study also found a positive relationship between a student's spirituality and achievement in the classroom. The purpose of this paper is to identify factors from economics, sociology, and politics that may impact the level of student religiosity and spirituality and to further assess the impact of religiosity and spirituality upon academic performance. Religiosity is defined as a person's degree of adherence to the beliefs, doctrines, and practices of a particular religion. However, spirituality is defined as a more inclusive concept which describes an individual's personal relationship with a higher power. Thus, spirituality is manifested in truly believing in a higher power and acting spiritually rather than just going through the physical motions of being active in an organized religion.
Data were collected from 116 diverse undergraduate students enrolled in classes at a major university in the southwestern United States. The results of the study demonstrate the higher a student's charitable involvement, the higher will be both his or her religiosity and spirituality. Our analysis also reveals professional ambition and materialism have little influence on religiosity but do influence students' spirituality. The authors suggested certain economic factors, such as income level, have an impact on student religiosity and spirituality. However, statistical analysis fails to reveal influence from the economic factors on a student's religiosity or spirituality. The data clearly indicate that students' religiosity and spirituality positively impact their GPA.
Among the sociological factors, only charitable involvement impacted a student's religiosity. Opportunities for charitable involvement are often available in social settings, such as by being active in organized religions. The impact of some of the sociological factors (professional ambition, materialism, and self-sufficiency) on religiosity could not be verified. One implication in the learning environment of these students is that opportunities for service learning or even requirements for community service may be important in raising student religiosity and thus their academic performance.
Several sociological factors had an influence on student spirituality. These factors include charitable involvement, professional ambition, and materialism. Professional ambition and materialism proved to have a negative impact on spirituality, while charitable involvement had a positive impact. These findings support the notion that spirituality is a significant human quality that appears to transcend a person's desire …