Love thy Aged? A State-Level Analysis of Religiosity and Mobility in Aging Populations During the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Terrence D. Hill, Kelsey E. Gonzalez, Laura Upenieks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: We test whether the association between state religiosity and distance traveled is moderated by population age during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Methods: Mobility is operationalized as the state-level average median distance traveled from February 24 to May 4 across the contiguous United States. Shelter-in-place rates are operationalized as the state-level percentage of users staying home. State religiosity is measured with an index of aggregated religious identities, beliefs, and practices. Population age is indicated by the state percentage of adults aged 65 years and older. We model population mobility using regression with state clustered robust SEs. Results: We observe that religious states tend to travel more during the early stages of the pandemic. However, the behavioral risks associated with state religiosity are less pronounced in states with larger older populations. Discussion: We contribute to our understanding of the social patterning of pandemic mobility in aging populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-386
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Volume33
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • aging populations
  • coronavirus
  • mobility
  • religion/spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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