Religion, self-rated health, and mortality: Whether religiosity delays death depends on the cultural context

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33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Existing research, mostly based on the data from the United States, suggests that religiosity contributes to better health and longevity. This article explores the association between religiosity and self-rated health across 59 countries and shows that the positive association between religiosity and self-rated health is an exception found in a relatively small number of countries. Consistent with the person-culture fit literature, Study 1 shows that in countries in which religiosity represents a social norm (i.e., it is common and socially desirable), religious individuals report better subjective health than nonreligious individuals. Study 2 demonstrates that even within the United States, the association of religiosity with self-rated health as well as with reduced mortality largely depends on the regional level of religiosity, suggesting that the health and longevity benefits of religiosity are restricted to highly religious regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-922
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Volume6
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • religiosity
  • self-rated health
  • mortality
  • social norms
  • person-culture fit
  • cross-cultural research
  • SOCIAL SUPPORT
  • PEOPLE HAPPY
  • EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
  • LIFE-SATISFACTION
  • AFRICAN-AMERICANS
  • PHYSICAL HEALTH
  • MENTAL-HEALTH
  • INVOLVEMENT
  • SPIRITUALITY
  • ATTENDANCE

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