A biopsychosocial model of religious involvement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Numerous studies show that religious involvement tends to favor health and longevity in the elderly population. Although this body of work has made significant contributions to our understanding of the salutary role of religious involvement in late life, additional research is needed to identify and establish theoretical and empirical explanations for these patterns. In this chapter, I develop a biopsychosocial model of religious involvement, health, and longevity. The model incorporates several classes of mechanisms, including social resources, psychological resources, healthy behaviors, and biological markers. I conclude that additional research is needed to establish individual mechanisms, more elaborate causal models, and subgroup variations. It is also important for future studies to thoroughly explore the "dark side" of religion and to formally test alternative explanations, including health selection, personality selection, genetic selection, and social desirability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-199
Number of pages21
JournalAnnual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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