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For sample adults age 18 and older and children age 4 and older in 2012, RELSPEV reports whether the person had ever used spiritual meditation. Spiritual meditation was defined to include Centering Prayer and Contemplative Meditation.

Relaxation techniques were one of many alternative health treatment modalities included in the Complementary and Alternative Health Supplements. If sample respondents gave a positive response to RELSPEV, they were asked a series of follow-up questions.


The 2012 Field Representative's Manual provide the following definition:

Spiritual meditation may be performed according to the practices of one of the major religions or within a spiritual tradition. The techniques used may be the same as in other types of meditation (for example, transcendental meditation), but the focus is on spirituality (such as repeating a spiritual, meditative phrase).

Field representatives were advised to "feel free to offer [this definition] even if the respondent has not requested [it]."


This variable is only available in 2012.


  • 2012: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children of ages 4-17 who have ever used meditation, guided imagery, or progressive relaxation.


  • 2012