Religious Affiliation, Religious Service Attendance, and Mortality
Very few studies have examined the effects of both religious affiliation and religiosity on mortality at the same time, and studies employing multiple dimensions of religiosity other than religious attendance are rare. Using the newly created General Social Survey-National Death Index data, our report contributes to the religion and mortality literature by examining religious affiliation and religiosity at the same time. Compared to Mainline Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and other religious groups have lower risk of death, but Black Protestants, Evangelical Protestants, and even those with no religious affiliation are not different from Mainline Protestants. While our study is consistent with previous findings that religious attendance leads to a reduction in mortality, we did not find other religious measures, such as strength of religious affiliation, frequency of praying, belief in an afterlife, and belief in God to be associated with mortality. We also find interaction effects between religious affiliation and attendance. The lowest mortality of Jews and other religious groups is more apparent for those with lower religious attendance. Thus, our result may emphasize the need for other research to focus on the effects of religious group and religious attendance on mortality at the same time.
KeywordsReligious affiliation Religious service attendance Mortality
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