Dr. Valerie Michaelson
Promoting the well-being of children by integrating
empirical research with
critical reflection on social, cultural and religious values
Spiritual aspects of health are evolving as a topic of great contemporary interest and importance, as recognized by the World Health Organization and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In this work, I conceptualize spiritual health as connections in four domains: to self, to others, to nature and to some kind of larger meaning or “the transcendent” (however one understands this idea).
The project, "Spiritual health as a protective mental health asset in young Canadians" was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in 2015. This grant has enabled an international study of adolescents’ spiritual and mental health, including the analysis of data collected from >30,000 young people (quantitative) and the qualitative exploration of the lived experiences of spirituality in young people across Canada (n=80).
Data from both strands of this study form the basis of my forthcoming book with McGill/Queen’s Press called The connections that make us human: the spiritual health and mental health of Canadian adolescents.
Click on the links below to read some of our publications. The infographic to the left describes the study "Spiritual health as a protective health asset (see buttons below).