Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 354–360

Trajectories of disability in older adulthood and social support from a religious congregation: a growth curve analysis

Article

Abstract

This study examined the role of congregational support as a mechanism by which religious involvement may slow the decline of functional ability during late life. Disability was tracked longitudinally over a 4-year period in a national sample of 805 Black and White older adults from the religion, aging, and health survey. Individuals with more extensive disability reported receiving greater amounts of tangible support from their congregations. However, receiving higher levels of tangible support was also associated with a slower trajectory of increase in disability over time. The relationship between congregational support and disability did not differ significantly between Blacks and Whites. Results support the hypothesis that social support networks based in the religious group are responsible for some of the association between religious involvement and reduced risk of late life disability.

Keywords

Disability Religion Social support Race Growth curve analysis 

References

  1. Cassel, J. (1964). Social science theory as a source of hypotheses in epidemiological research. American Journal of Public Health, 54, 1482–1488. doi:10.2105/AJPH.54.9.1482 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Christensen, K., McGue, M., Petersen, I., Jeune, B., & Vaupel, J. W. (2008). Exceptional longevity does not result in excessive levels of disability. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105, 13274–13279. doi:10.1073/pnas.0804931105 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Curran, P. J., Obeidat, K., & Losardo, D. (2010). Twelve frequently asked questions about growth curve modeling. Journal of Cognition and Development, 11, 121–136. doi:10.1080/15248371003699969 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fitchett, G., Rybarczyk, B. D., DeMarco, G. A., & Nicholas, J. J. (1999). The role of religion in medical rehabilitation outcomes: A longitudinal study. Rehabilitation Psychology, 44, 333–353. doi:10.1037/0090-5550.44.4.333 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hayward, R. D., & Elliott, M. (2011). Subjective and objective fit in religious congregations: Implications for well-being. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 14, 127–139. doi:10.1177/1368430210370041 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Idler, E. L. (1987). Religious involvement and the health of the elderly: Some hypotheses and an initial test. Social Forces, 66, 226–238. doi:10.2307/2578909 Google Scholar
  7. Idler, E. L., & Kasl, S. V. (1992). Religion, disability, depression, and the timing of death. American Journal of Sociology, 97, 1052–1079. doi:10.1086/229861 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Idler, E. L., & Kasl, S. V. (1997). Religion among disabled and nondisabled persons II: Attendance at religious services as a predictor of the course of disability. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 52B, S306–S316. doi:10.1093/geronb/52B.6.S306 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Koenig, H. G., George, L. K., & Titus, P. (2004). Religion, spirituality, and health in medically ill hospitalized older patients. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 52, 554–562. doi:10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52161.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Krause, N. (2002a). Church-based social support and health in old age. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 57, S332–S347. doi:10.1093/geronb/57.6.S332 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Krause, N. (2002b). Exploring race differences in a comprehensive battery of church-based social support measures. Review of Religious Research, 44, 126–149. doi:10.2307/3512512 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Krause, N. (2004). Common facets of religion, unique facets of religion, and life satisfaction among older African Americans. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B: Pschological Sciences and Social Sciences, 59B, S109–S117. doi:10.1093/geronb/59.2.S109 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Krause, N. (2006). Exploring the stress-buffering effects of church-based and secular social support on self-rated health in late life. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 61, S35–S43. doi:10.1093/geronb/61.1.S35 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Krause, N. (2008). Krause, N. (2008). Aging in the church: How social relationships affect health. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Foundation Press.. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Foundation Press.Google Scholar
  15. Levine, R. S., Foster, J. E., Fullilove, R. E., Fullilove, M. T., Briggs, N. C., Hull, P. C., Husaini, B. A., et al. (2001). Black-White inequalities in mortality and life expectancy, 1933-1999: Implications for Healthy People 2010. Public Health Reports (1974), 116, 474–483. doi:10.1093/phr/116.5.474
  16. Manton, K. G., Gu, X., & Lamb, V. L. (2006). Change in chronic disability from 1982 to 2004/2005 as measured by long-term changes in function and health in the U.S. elderly population. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103, 18374–18379. doi:10.1073/pnas.0608483103 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pargament, K. I., Smith, B. W., Koenig, H. G., & Perez, L. (1998). Patterns of positive and negative religious coping with major life stressors. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 37, 710–724. doi:10.2307/1388152 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Powell, L. H., Shahabi, L., & Thoresen, C. E. (2003). Religion and spirituality: Linkages to physical health. American Psychologist, 58, 36–52. doi:10.1037/0003-066x.58.1.36 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Taylor, M. G. (2008). Timing, accumulation, and the Black/White disability gap in later life. Research on Aging, 30, 226–250. doi:10.1177/0164027507311838 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Taylor, R. J., Chatters, L. M., & Levin, J. S. (2004). Religion in the lives of African Americans: social, psychological, and health perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  21. West, B. T., Welch, K. B., & Galecki, A. T. (2007). Linear mixed models: A practical guide using statistical software. Boca Raton, FL: Chapman & Hall/CRC.Google Scholar
  22. Williams, D. R. (2005). The health of U.S. racial and ethnic populations. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 60, S53–S62. doi:10.1093/geronb/60.Special_Issue_2.S53 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations