Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 498–512

Is Religious Coping Associated with Cumulative Health Risk? An Examination of Religious Coping Styles and Health Behavior Patterns in Alzheimer’s Dementia Caregivers

  • Yaron G. Rabinowitz
  • Mark G. Hartlaub
  • Ericka C. Saenz
  • Larry W. Thompson
  • Dolores Gallagher-Thompson
Original paper

Abstract

The current study explored the relationship between religious coping and cumulative health risk associated with health behavior patterns in a sample of 256 Latina and Caucasian female caregivers of elderly relatives with dementia. Primary analyses examined the relationship between religious coping (both positive and negative) and an overall index of cumulative health risk. Secondary analyses were conducted on the individual health behaviors subsumed in the broader index. Findings revealed that negative religious coping was significantly associated with increased cumulative health risk. Positive religious coping was predictive of decreased cumulative health risk among Latina caregivers but not among Caucasians. Negative religious coping was significantly associated with both an increased likelihood for weight gain and increased dietary restriction. Positive religious coping was associated with decreased likelihood for weight gain in Latinas. Implications for both caregivers and clinicians are discussed.

Keywords

Religious coping Health behaviors Caregivers 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yaron G. Rabinowitz
    • 1
  • Mark G. Hartlaub
    • 1
  • Ericka C. Saenz
    • 1
  • Larry W. Thompson
    • 2
  • Dolores Gallagher-Thompson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTexas A&M UniversityCorpus ChristiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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