Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 319–328 | Cite as

Religiousness/Spirituality and Health: A Meaning Systems Perspective

  • Crystal L. Park


The existence of links between religion and spirituality (R/S) and health appear to be firmly established, but much less is known about how these various aspects of R/S are translated into health outcomes. Within a meaning systems framework, this article reviews and integrates findings regarding the many pathways through which R/S may influence physical health and well-being. In particular, evidence for the pathways of body sanctification, meaning in life, social support, health locus of control, health behaviors, positive and negative affect and stress moderation, treatment adherence, and coping is examined. The article concludes with suggestions for future research.


Religion Spirituality Health Meaning 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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