Advertisement

Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 629–647 | Cite as

Religiosity and Subjective Wellbeing in Canada

  • Maryam Dilmaghani
Research Paper

Abstract

Using the Canadian Ethnic Diversity Survey, I explore how religiosity associates with self-reported levels of wellbeing. The overall association of religious intensity with subjective wellbeing is found to be statistically significant, positive and small. When the impact is allowed to vary by religious group, it appears that Catholics and Protestants are very similar in how religiosity impacts their subjective wellbeing; the association is statistically significantly stronger for Canadian Muslims; and Canadian Jews are the closest group to religious nones. Surprisingly, among different dimensions of religious commitment, the intensity of religious belief is found to be the driver of the overall positive association, across religious groups. Finally, when Canadian population is divided into linguistic groups, religious involvement emerges as a negative predictor of French Canadians’ subjective wellbeing.

Keywords

Subjective wellbeing Religiosity Canada Québec 

References

  1. Aldrich, J. H., & Nelson, F. D. (1984). Linear probability, logit, and probit models. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Argyle, M. (2003). Causes and correlates of happiness. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 353–373). NY: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  3. Barrington-Leigh, C. P. (2013). The Quebec convergence and Canadian life satisfaction, 1985–2008. Canadian Public Policy, 39(2), 193–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barrington-Leigh, C. P., & Helliwell, J. F. (2008). Empathy and emulation: Life satisfaction and the Urban geography of comparison groups. In Working paper 14593, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  5. Barro, R., & Mitchell, J. (2004). Religious faith and economic growth: What matters most—belief or belonging?. Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation.Google Scholar
  6. Bibby, R. (1990). La religion à la carte au Québec: Une analyse de tendances. Sociologie et Sociétés, 22(2), 133–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bibby, R. (2007). Religion À La Carte in Quebec: A problem of demand, supply, or both? http://www.reginaldbibby.com/images/Quebec_Paper_July07.pdf
  8. Bibby, R. W. (2011). Continuing the conversation on Canada: Changing patterns of religious service attendance. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 50(4), 831–837.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brenner, P. S. (2016). Cross-national trends in religious service attendance. Public Opinion Quarterly, 80(2), 563–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Burton, P., & Phipps, S. (2011). Families, time, and well-being in Canada. Canadian Public Policy, 37(3), 395–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Campante, F., & Yanagizawa-Drott, D. (2015). Does religion affect economic growth and happiness? Evidence from Ramadan. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 130(2), 615–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Campbell, A., Converse, P. E., & Rodgers, W. L. (1976). The quality of American life: Perceptions, evaluations, and satisfactions. NY: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  13. Clark A. E. & O. Lelkes (2006). Deliver us from evil: Religion as insurance. No 06/03, Papers on Economics of Religion, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada, https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00590570/
  14. Deaton, A., & Stone, A. A. (2013). Two happiness puzzles. American Economic Review, 103(3), 591–597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Diener, E. (2012). New findings and future directions for subjective well-being research. American Psychologist, 67(8), 590–597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Diener, E., Diener, M., & Diener, C. (1995). Factors predicting the subjective well-being of nations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(5), 851–864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Lucas, R. E. (2003). Personality, culture, and subjective well-being: Emotional and cognitive evaluations of life. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 403–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Diener, E., & Suh, E. M. (2000). Culture and subjective well-being. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  19. Diener, E., Tay, L., & Myers, D. G. (2011). The religion paradox: If religion makes people happy, why are so many dropping out? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(6), 1278–1290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Eagle, D. E. (2011). Changing patterns of attendance at religious services in Canada, 1986–2008. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 50(1), 187–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Eid, M., & Diener, E. (2001). Norms for experiencing emotions in different cultures: Inter-and intranational differences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(5), 869–885.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Elliott, M., & Hayward, R. D. (2009). Religion and life satisfaction worldwide: The role of government regulation. Sociology of Religion, 70(3), 285–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ellison, C. G. (1991). Religious involvement and subjective well-being. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 32(1), 80–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ellison, C. G., Gay, D. A., & Glass, T. A. (1989). Does religious commitment contribute to individual life satisfaction? Social Forces, 68(1), 100–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ellison, C. G., & Levin, J. S. (1998). The religion-health connection: Evidence, theory, and future directions. Health Education & Behavior, 25(6), 700–720.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ferraro, K. F., & Albrecht-Jensen, C. M. (1991). Does religion influence adult health? Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 30(2), 193–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ferriss, A. L. (2002). Religion and the quality of life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 3(3), 199–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Francis, L. J., Robbins, M., & White, A. (2003). Correlation between religion and happiness: A replication. Psychological Reports, 92(1), 51–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Frankel, B. G., & Hewitt, W. E. (1994). Religion and well-being among Canadian university students: The role of faith groups on campus. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 33(1), 62–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Friedman, M., & Saroglou, V. (2010). Religiosity, psychological acculturation to the host culture, self-esteem and depressive symptoms among stigmatized and nonstigmatized religious immigrant groups in Western Europe. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 32(2), 185–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gardes, F., & Merrigan, P. (2008). Individual needs and social pressure: Evidence on the Easterlin hypothesis using repeated cross-section surveys of Canadian households. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 66(3/4), 582–596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gauvreau, M. (2005). Catholic origins of Quebec’s quiet revolution. Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen′s University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Gee, E. M., & Veevers, J. E. (1990). Religious involvement and life satisfaction in Canada. Sociology of Religion, 51(4), 387–394.Google Scholar
  34. George, L. K., Ellison, C. G., & Larson, D. B. (2002). Explaining the relationships between religious involvement and health. Psychological Inquiry, 13(3), 190–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Greene, K. V., & Yoon, B. J. (2004). Religiosity, economics and life satisfaction. Review of Social Economy, 62(2), 245–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Grözinger, G., & Matiaske, W. (2014). The direct and indirect impact of religion on well-being in Germany. Social Indicators Research, 116(2), 373–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gundlach, E., & Opfinger, M. (2013). Religiosity as a determinant of happiness. Review of Development Economics, 17(3), 523–539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hadaway, C. K. (1985). Life satisfaction and religion: A reanalysis. Social Forces, 57(2), 636–643.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Harker, K. (2001). Immigrant generation, assimilation, and adolescent psychological well-being. Social Forces, 79(3), 969–1004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Harrison, M. O., Koenig, H. G., Hays, J. C., Eme-Akwari, A. G., & Pargament, K. I. (2001). The epidemiology of religious coping: A review of recent literature. International Review of Psychiatry, 13(2), 86–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hayo, B. (2007). Happiness in transition: An empirical study on Eastern Europe. Economic Systems, 31(2), 204–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Helliwell, J. F., & Huang, H. (2010). How’s the job? Well-being and social capital in the workplace. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 63(2), 205–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Helliwell, J. F., & Putnam, R. D. (2004). The social context of well-being. Philosophical Transactions-Royal Society of London: Series B, 359(1449), 1435–1446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Hill, R. (2004). Happiness in Canada since World War II. Social Indicators Research, 65(1), 109–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hunsberger, B. (1985). Religion, age, life satisfaction, and perceived sources of religiousness: A study of older persons. Journal of Gerontology, 40(5), 615–620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Iannaccone, L. R. (1992). Sacrifice and stigma: Reducing free-riding in cults, communes, and other collectives. Journal of political Economy, 100(2), 271–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Idler, E. L. (1987). Religious involvement and the health of the elderly: Some hypotheses and an initial test. Social Forces, 66(1), 226–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Idler, E. L. (2011). Religion and adult mortality: group-and individual-level perspectives. In International handbook of adult mortality (pp. 345–377). Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
  49. Koenig, H. G., King, D., & Carson, V. B. (2012). Handbook of religion and health. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Koenig, H. G., Parkerson Jr, G. R., & Meador, K. G. (1997). Religion index for psychiatric research. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154(6), 885–886.Google Scholar
  51. Krause, N. M. (2008). Aging in the church: How social relationships affect health. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Foundation Press.Google Scholar
  52. Lefebvre, S., & Beaman, L. G. (2014). Religion in the public sphere: Canadian case studies. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  53. Lelkes, O. (2006). Tasting freedom: Happiness, religion and economic transition. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 59(2), 173–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lewis, C. A., & Cruise, S. M. (2006). Religion and happiness: Consensus, contradictions, comments and concerns. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 9(3), 213–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lewis, C. A., Lanigan, C., Joseph, S., & de Fockert, J. (1997). Religiosity and happiness: No evidence for an association among undergraduates. Personality and Individual Differences, 22(1), 119–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lim, C., & Putnam, R. D. (2010). Religion, social networks, and life satisfaction. American Sociological Review, 75(6), 914–933.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Maton, K. I. (1989). The stress-buffering role of spiritual support: Cross-sectional and prospective investigations. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 28(3), 310–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Oishi, S., & Schimmack, U. (2010). Culture and well-being: A new inquiry into the psychological wealth of nations. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(4), 463–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Okulicz-Kozaryn, A. (2010). Religiosity and life satisfaction across nations. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 13(2), 155–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Oleckno, W. A., & Blacconiere, M. J. (1991). Relationship of religiosity to wellness and other health-related behaviors and outcomes. Psychological Reports, 68(3), 819–826.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. O’Neill, B., Gidengil, E., Côté, C., & Young, L. (2015). Freedom of religion, women’s agency and banning the face veil: The role of feminist beliefs in shaping women’s opinion. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38(11), 1886–1901.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Pollner, M. (1989). Divine relations, social relations, and well-being. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 30(1), 92–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Powdthavee, N., & Van den Berg, B. (2011). Putting different price tags on the same health condition: Re-evaluating the well-being valuation approach. Journal of Health Economics, 30(5), 1032–1043.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Ross, C. E. (1990). Religion and psychological distress. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 29(2), 236–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Sander, W. (2002). Religion and human capital. Econonmic Letters, 75(3), 303–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Saroglou, V., & Mathijsen, F. (2007). Religion, multiple identities, and acculturation: A study of muslim immigrants in Belgium. Archive for the Psychology of Religion, 29(1), 177–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Schafer, W. E. (1997). Religiosity, spirituality, and personal distress among college students. Journal of College Student Development, 38(6), 633–644.Google Scholar
  68. Shor, E., & Roelfs, D. J. (2013). The longevity effects of religious and nonreligious participation: A meta-analysis and meta-regression. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 52(1), 120–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Statistics Canada. (2003). Ethnic diversity survey (EDS) [Data Guide]. http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb/p2SV.pl?Function=getSurvey&Id=4077
  70. Suh, E. M., Diener, E. D., & Updegraff, J. A. (2008). From culture to priming conditions self-construal influences on life satisfaction judgments. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 39(1), 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Tov, W., & Diener, E. (2013). Culture and subjective well-being. SSRN 2199219. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2199219
  72. Whittaker, S., Hardy, G., Lewis, K., & Buchan, L. (2005). An exploration of psychological well-being with young Somali refugee and asylum-seeker women. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 10(2), 177–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zuckerman, P. (2009). Atheism, secularity, and well-being: How the findings of social science counter negative stereotypes and assumptions. Sociology Compass, 3(6), 949–971.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, Sobey School of BusinessSaint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada

Personalised recommendations