Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic

Religion, Religiosity, and Spirituality

  • Ana F. Abraído-Lanza
  • Anahí Viladrich
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_652

Introduction and Overview

Social scientists have long been interested in the study of religion, human behavior, and well-being. In fact, scholarly writings on these issues trace back to the emergence of some disciplines. Influential works on religiosity include (among others) an early 1900s publication by William James, who is credited as laying the groundwork for American Psychology, as well as classic pieces on suicide published in the late 1890s by Emile Durkheim, the prominent sociologist whose work drew heavily on religious affiliation as a form of social cohesion. Despite the interest in religiosity generated by these early works, throughout the twentieth century, research on the topic dissipated with the growth of empiricism, behaviorism, and scientific paradigms grounded in biomedical models. These ideologies created barriers that forestalled and marginalized research on religiosity. Over the past few decades, however, dissatisfaction with the narrow focus of biomedical models...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Suggested Readings

  1. Chatters, L. M. (2000). Religion and health: Public health research and practice. Annual Review of Public Health, 21, 335–367.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Foley, M., & Hoge, T. (2007). Religion and the new immigrants: How faith communities form our newest citizens. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. George, L. K., Ellison, C. G., & Larson, D. B. (2002). Explaining the relationships between religious involvement and health. Psychological Inquiry, 13, 190–200.Google Scholar
  4. Hill, P. C., & Pargament, K. I. (2003). Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of religion and spirituality: Implications for physical and mental health research. The American Psychologist, 58(1), 64–74.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Hill, T. D., Angel, J. L., Ellison, C. G., & Angel, R. J. (2005). Religious attendance and mortality: An 8-year follow-up of older Mexican Americans. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Social Science, 60(2), S102–S109.Google Scholar
  6. Leavey, G., Loewenthal, K., & King, M. (2007). Challenges to sanctuary: The clergy as a resource for mental health care in the community. Social Science & Medicine, 65(3), 548–559.Google Scholar
  7. Menjivar, C. (2000). Fragmented ties: Salvadoran immigrant networks in the U.S. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  8. Miller, W. R., & Thoresen, C. E. (2003). Spirituality, religion, and health: An emerging research field. The American Psychologist, 58, 24–35.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Powell, L. H., Shahabi, L., & Thoresen, C. E. (2003). Religion and spirituality: Linkages to physical health. The American Psychologist, 58, 36–52.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Simoni, J. M., & Ortiz, M. Z. (2003). Mediational models of spirituality and depressive symptomatology among HIV-positive Puerto Rican women. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 9, 3–15.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Sloan, l, & Bagiella, E. (2002). Claims about religious involvement and health outcomes. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24, 14–21.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Thoresen, C. E., & Harris, A. H. S. (2002). Spirituality and health: What’s the evidence and what’s needed? Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24, 3–13.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Viladrich, A. (2006). Beyond the supranatural: Latino healers treating Latino immigrants in New York City. The Journal of Latino-Latin American Studies, 2(1), 134–148.Google Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. Journal of Religion and Health. Retrieved December 8, 2010, from http://www.springer.com/public+health/journal/10943
  2. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Retrieved December 8, 2010, from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1468–5906

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana F. Abraído-Lanza
    • 1
  • Anahí Viladrich
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Sociomedical SciencesMailman School of Public Health, Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyQueens College, City University of New York (CUNY)FlushingUSA