Review of Religious Research

, 53:41 | Cite as

Social Relationships in the Church During Late Life: Assessing Differences Between African Americans, Whites, and Mexican Americans

Original Paper

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to see if there are differences in the social relationships that older African Americans, older whites, and older Mexican Americans form with the people where they worship. Data from two large surveys are pooled to see if race differences emerge in eleven different measures of church-based social relationships. These measures assess social relationships with rank-and-file church members as well as social relationships with members of the clergy. The findings reveal that older African Americans tend to have more well-developed social relationships in the church than either older whites or older Mexican Americans. This is true with respect to relationships with fellow church members as well as relationships with the clergy. In contrast, relatively few differences emerged between older Americans of European descent and older Mexican Americans. However, when differences emerged in the data, older whites tend to score higher on the support measures than older Mexican Americans.

Keywords

Social support Social relationships Religion Ethnicity 

References

  1. Baldwin, James M. 1902. Fragments in philosophy and science of being: Collected essays and addresses. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar
  2. Bollen, Kenneth A. 1989. Structural equations with latent variables. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  3. Carrasco, David. 1990. Religions of Mesoamerica: Cosmovision and ceremonial centers. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.Google Scholar
  4. Dolan, Jay P., and Gilberto M. Hinojosa. 1994. Mexican Americans and the Catholic Church 1900–1965. South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
  5. Du Bois, W. E. B. 2000. Du Bois on Religion. ed. Phil Zuckerman. New York: Alta Mira Press.Google Scholar
  6. Elizondo, Virgilio. 2000. Popular religion as support of identity. In Beyond borders: Writings of Virgilio Elizondo, friends, ed. Timothy Motivina, 126–132. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.Google Scholar
  7. Elizondo, Virgilio. 2010. Spiritual writings. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.Google Scholar
  8. Federal Interagency Forum on Age Related Statistics. 2008. Older Americans 2004: Key indicators of well-being. Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  9. Fernandez, Eduardo C. 2007. Mexican American catholics. New York: Paulist Press.Google Scholar
  10. Glock, Charles Y. 1964. The Role of deprivation in the origin and evolution of religious groups. In Religion and social conflict, ed. Robert Lee, and Martin E. Marty, 24–36. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Goizueta, Roberto S. 2002. The symbolic world of Mexican American religion. In Horizons of the Sacred: Mexican traditions in U.S. Catholicism, ed. Timothy Matovina, and Gary Riebe-Estrella, 119–138. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Graham, John W. 2009. Missing data analysis: Making it work in the real world. Annual Review of Psychology 60: 549–576.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Koenig, Harold G., Michael E. McCullough, and David B. Larson. 2001. Handbook of religion and health. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Krause, Neal. 1997. Anticipated support, received support, and economic stress among older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences 52B: P284–P293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Krause, Neal. 2002a. Exploring race differences in a comprehensive battery of church-based social support measures. Review of Religious Research 44: 126–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Krause, Neal. 2002b. A comprehensive strategy for developing closed-ended survey items for use in studies of older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences 57B: S263–S274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Krause, Neal. 2006a. Church-based social support and mortality. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences 61B: S140–S146.Google Scholar
  18. Krause, Neal. 2006b. Exploring race and sex differences in church involvement during late life. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion 16: 127–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Krause, Neal. 2008. Aging in the church: How social relationships affect health. Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Foundation Press.Google Scholar
  20. Krause, Neal. 2010. Receiving social support at church when stressful life events arise: Do Catholics and Protestants differ? Psychology of Religion and Spirituality 2: 234–246.Google Scholar
  21. Krause, Neal, and Elena Bastida. 2009. Religion, suffering, and health among older Mexican Americans. Journal of Aging Studies 23: 114–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Krause, Neal, and John Cairney. 2009. Close companion friends in church and health in late life. Review of Religious Research 51: 200–282.Google Scholar
  23. Krause, Neal, Linda M. Chatters, Tina Meltzer, and David L. Morgan. 2000. Negative interaction in the church: Insights from focus groups with older adults. Review of Religious Research 41: 510–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Leon, Luis D. 2004. La Llorona’s children. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  25. Markides, Kyriakos S. 2003. Hispanic established populations for the epidemiologic studies of the elderly 1993–1994. Study number 2851. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.Google Scholar
  26. Matovina, Timothy M. 1991. Liturgy and popular expression of faith: A look at the works of Virgil Elizondo. Worship 65: 436–444.Google Scholar
  27. Maxim, Paul S. 1999. Quantitative research methods in the social sciences. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Maynard-Reid, Pedrito U. 2000. Diverse worship: African-American, Caribbean & Hispanic perspectives. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.Google Scholar
  29. Mills, C.Wright. 1959. The sociological imagination. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Nelsen, Hart M., and Anne K. Nelsen. 1975. Black church in the sixties. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press.Google Scholar
  31. Nunnally, Jum C., and Ira H. Bernstein. 1994. Psychometric theory, 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  32. Pargament, Kenneth I. 1997. The psychology of religious coping: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  33. Paris, Peter J. 1995. The spirituality of African peoples: The search for a common moral discourse. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.Google Scholar
  34. Park, Crystal L. 2005. Religion and meaning. In Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality, ed. Ray F. Paloutzian, and Crystal L. Park, 295–314. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  35. Roberts, J. Deotis. 2003. Black religion, black theology. Ed. David E. Goatley. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International.Google Scholar
  36. Rodriguez, Jeanette. 1994. Our lady of Guadalupe: Faith and empowerment among Mexican American women. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  37. Rook, Karen S. 1984. The negative side of social interaction: Impact on psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 46: 1097–1108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schieman, Scott, Tetyana Pudrovska, Leonard I. Pearlin, and Christopher G. Ellison. 2006. The sense of divine control and psychological distress: Variations across race and socioeconomic status. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 45: 529–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schleiermacher, Friedrich. 1799/1994. On religion: Speeches to its cultural despisers. Louisville, KY: John Knox Press.Google Scholar
  40. Stark, Rodney, and William S. Bainbridge. 1987. A theory of religion. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Taylor, Robert J., Linda M. Chatters, and Jeffrey Levin. 2004. Religion in the lives of African Americans: Social, psychological, and health perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  42. Worthington, Everett. 1998. Dimensions of forgiveness: Psychological research & theological perspectives. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Religious Research Association, Inc. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Florida International UniversityMiamiUSA

Personalised recommendations