Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 533–547 | Cite as

The Relation between Religion and Well-Being

  • Adam B. CohenEmail author
  • Kathryn A. Johnson


This article reviews research on religion and well-being, focusing primarily on Western, traditional religions. We provide some nuance, caveats, and future directions for further research. We discuss how and why religious groups may differ in their well-being, that there may be important subgroup differences, that there are multiple dimensions to both religion and well-being, that religion and other cultural identities may interact to impact well-being, and that religion (e.g., religious anxieties) may be associated with lower well-being in some ways. We consider how religious extremism relates to well-being and also suggest that more research is needed regarding well-being in other types of religious and spiritual groups. We hope that this article will add complexity to the important intersections between religion and well-being.


Religion Well-being Happiness Life satisfaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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