Review of Religious Research

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 31–45 | Cite as

The Honeymoon is Over: Occupational Relocation and Changes in Mental Health Among United Methodist Clergy

  • David E. EagleEmail author
  • Andrew A. Miles
  • Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell
Research Note


In this study we examine how the process of relocation affects the mental health of United Methodist clergy and the extent to which relocation is associated with changes in clergy perception of the workplace environment and feelings of self-efficacy. We analyzed data from a longitudinal survey of 1375 clergy, one quarter of whom experienced a move between the baseline survey in 2008 and the follow-up survey 2 years later. Contrary to expectations, we find that mental distress decreased for those who recently moved compared to those who had moved 2 years prior. We also find strong evidence of a “honeymoon effect.” Recently relocated clergy report higher levels of self-efficacy and higher workplace morale compared to those who do not relocate. This study underscores the importance of examining the short and longer-term impact of moving on mental distress and presses scholars to consider the ways in which, under certain circumstances, relocation may improve mental health.


Relocation Mental distress Clergy Occupational determinants of health 


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Copyright information

© Religious Research Association, Inc. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • David E. Eagle
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrew A. Miles
    • 2
  • Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Health Policy and Inequalities ResearchDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research and Duke Global Health InstituteDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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