Original Research

Spirituality as a determinant of health risk behaviour among black university students in Limpopo, South Africa

S. Makhubela, S. Mashegoane
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 41, No 1 | a20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v41i1.20 | © 2019 S. Makhubela, S. Mashegoane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 May 2019 | Published: 30 June 2017

About the author(s)

S. Makhubela, University of Pretoria, South Africa
S. Mashegoane, University of Limpopo, South Africa

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Data from 333 Black university students in Limpopo, South Africa were used to investigate the association between the spirituality dimensions of religious and existential wellbeing (RWB and EWB) and health risk behaviours. The mean scores of almost all health risk behaviours, with the exception of the daily eating of healthy foods, varied according to the levels of RWB (p ≤ 0.05). On the other hand, with regards to levels of EWB, the analysis of physical activity produced a gender by EWB interaction only, and the results pertaining to the drinking of alcoholic beverages were marginal (p ≤ 0.10). There was a marginal gender by EWB effect for cigarette and marijuana use (p ≤ 0.10), with a 0.019 effect size (partial eta squared) for each analysis, and a gender effect for both (p ≤ 0.001 and 0.01, respectively). Effectively, there were no instances of statistically significant main effect of EWB (p > 0.05). Apparently, the type or dimensionality of spirituality used is important, and future studies should investigate varied measures of the construct to establish its relationship with health risk behaviour.


Black university students; existential wellbeing; health risk behaviours; religious wellbeing; spirituality


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