Religious Involvement, Health Status, and Mortality Risk

  • Terrence D. Hill
  • Amy M. Burdette
  • Ellen L. Idler
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


Religious involvement – indicated by observable feelings, beliefs, activities, and experiences in relation to spiritual, divine, or supernatural entities – is a prevalent and powerful force in the lives of older adults. Despite evidence of secularization and the declining significance of religious institutions (Chaves 1994), elderly Americans continue to exhibit high rates of religious involvement. According to national estimates from the 2008 General Social Survey, a large percentage of adults aged 65 and older affiliate with religious groups (93%), characterize their affiliations as strong (56%), attend religious services weekly or more (42%), pray at least once per day (68%), and believe that the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally (37%). These figures are remarkable in their own right. They also inspire countless questions concerning the consequences of religious involvement in late life.


Healthy Behavior Religious Involvement Religious Institution Religious Attendance Psychological Resource 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Terrence D. Hill
    • 1
  • Amy M. Burdette
  • Ellen L. Idler
  1. 1.Department of SociologyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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