Religion, spirituality and aging: a longitudinal study of mental and physical coping

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Sociology
Author Nathenson, Sophia Lyn
Title Religion, spirituality and aging: a longitudinal study of mental and physical coping
Date 2012-12
Description A connection to the divine, God, or nature can be a source of comfort, guidance and insight, particularly during times of hardship or illness. This study draws together sociological theories on religion, aging and health to explore the ways in which religious and spiritual practices may impact the mental and physical aspects of old age. Analyzing data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) from 2000 to 2010, the effects of religious salience, prayer and meditation are investigated in terms of their impact on mental health and physical functioning. Additionally the study examines a sample of cancer survivors to determine if the effects of religion differ for this unique population. Results demonstrated a salutary effect of religious salience on mental health and coping with cancer, but a negative association with disability. Similarly, moderate prayer improved outcomes of depression and disability while daily prayer and meditation was associated with poorer outcomes. Theoretical explanations for these results are discussed with respect to policy implications and future research directions.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Aging; Cancer; Coping; Meditation; Religion
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Sophia Lyn Nathenson 2012
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 1,139,092 bytes
ARK ark:/87278/s67h20ff
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-12-19
Date Modified 2017-11-28
ID 195741
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s67h20ff