L’Observatoire des religions

Core religious beliefs and providing support to others in late life

Mental Health, Religion & Culture, Volume 12 Issue 1 2009

mercredi 26 novembre 2008 par Neal Krause a ; Elena Bastida b

A number of studies suggest that people who have strong social support systems at church tend to enjoy better mental and physical health. Yet little is known about the factors that promote strong church-based social support networks. The purpose of this study is to show that key religious beliefs may have something to do with it.
A new construct—spiritual connectedness-is introduced for this purpose. Spiritual connectedness refers to an awareness of the bond that exists among all people and the sense of the interdependence among them. Data from a nationwide longitudinal survey of older people in the United States reveal that a strong sense of spiritual connectedness is associated with providing more emotional support and tangible assistance to fellow church members over time. The data further reveal that older people with a strong sense of spiritual connectedness are more likely to pray for others, as well.

Affiliations : a The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

b The University of Texas Pan American, Edinburg, TX, USA


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