Religious Affiliation, Religious Service Attendance, and Mortality
- 645 Downloads
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
- Carr, D., & Sharp, S. (2013). Do afterlife beliefs affect psychological adjustment to late-life spousal loss? Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbt063. First published online: June 29, 2013.
- Cleves, M., Gutierrez, R. G., Gould, W., & Marchenko, Y. V. (2010). An introduction to survival analysis using stata. College Station, Texas: Stata.Google Scholar
- Greenfield, E. A., & Marks, N. F. (2007). Religious social identity as an explanatory factor for associations between more frequent formal religious participation and psychological well-being. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 17(3), 245–259.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Helm, H. M., Hays, J. C., Flint, E. P., Koenig, E. P., & Blazer, D. G. (2000). Does private religious activity prolong survival? A six-year follow-up study of 3,851 older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, 55(7), M400–M405.Google Scholar
- Hogg, M. A. (2006). Social identity theory. In P. J. Burke (Ed.), Contemporary social psychological theories (pp. 111–136). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Idler, E. L. (2011). Religion and adult mortality: Group- and individual-level perspectives. International handbook of adult mortality (pp. 345–377). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Koenig, H., King, D., & Carson, V. B. (2012). Mortality. Handbook of religion and health (2nd ed., pp. 468–491). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Koenig, H., McCullough, M. E., & Larson, D. B. (2001). Mortality. Handbook of Religion and Health (pp. 318–330). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Levin, J. (2001). God, faith, and health. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Smith, T. W., Marsden, P., Hout, M., & Kim, J. (2011). General social surveys, 1972–2010: Cumulative codebook. Chicago: NORC.Google Scholar