Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

Inventory of Complicated Spiritual Grief 2.0 (ICSG 2.0): Validation of a revised measure of spiritual distress in bereavement

Spirituality has long served as a source of solace for many grievers following a loss. For other mourners, whose bereavement experience has been significantly challenged by struggles in their relationship with God and/or their faith community, the opposite is true. Complicated spiritual grief (CSG) is a spiritual crisis following the loss of a loved one. To assess CSG in samples of bereaved adults, a simple-to-use, multidimensional measure of spiritual crisis following loss called the Inventory of Complicated Spiritual Grief (ICSG) was previously developed and validated. However, subsequent research providing greater clarity about the construct of CSG supported the need to revise and update the ICSG. The goal of the present study was to establish the psychometric validity of a revised measure of CSG, called the Inventory of Complicated Spiritual Grief 2.0 (ICSG 2.0), with a large, diverse cohort of bereaved Christian adults (N = 440). Analyses of the bifurcated sample supported a three-factor model measuring insecurity with God, estrangement from the spiritual community, and disruption in religious practices. Further analyses supported the convergent and incremental validity of a 28-item scale relative to other theoretically similar instruments and measures of poor bereavement outcome, indicating the instrument’s research and clinical usefulness.