Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 651–662 | Cite as

Belief in Life-After-Death, Beliefs About the World, and Psychiatric Symptoms

  • Kevin J. Flannelly
  • Christopher G. Ellison
  • Kathleen Galek
  • Nava R. Silton
Original Paper

Abstract

Data from the 2010 Baylor Religion Survey were analyzed by structural equation modeling (SEM) to test five hypotheses: (1) that religious commitment is positively related to belief in life-after-death; that belief in life-after-death is (2) positively related to belief in an equitable world, and (3) negatively related to belief in a cynical world; (4) that belief in a cynical world has a pernicious association with psychiatric symptoms; and (5) that belief in an equitable world has a salubrious association with psychiatric symptoms. As hypothesized, religious commitment was positively related to belief in life-after-death (β = .74). In turn, belief in life-after-death was negatively associated with belief in a cynical world (β = −.16) and positively associated with belief in an equitable world (β = .36), as hypothesized. SEM further confirmed that belief in a cynical world had a significant pernicious association with all five classes of psychiatric symptoms (β’s = .11 to .30). Belief in an equitable world had a weaker and less consistent salubrious association with psychiatric symptoms. The results are discussed in the context of ETAS theory.

Keywords

Life-after-death Mental health Psychiatric symptoms Religion Religious beliefs Evolution ETAS theory 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin J. Flannelly
    • 1
  • Christopher G. Ellison
    • 2
  • Kathleen Galek
    • 1
  • Nava R. Silton
    • 3
  1. 1.The Spears Research InstituteHealthCare ChaplaincyNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyThe University of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyMarymount Manhattan CollegeNew YorkUSA

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