Religious Attendance and Social Support: Integration or Selection?

Christopher S. Bradley, Terrence D. Hill, Amy M. Burdette, Krysia N. Mossakowski, Robert J. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although numerous studies have shown that religious attendance is associated with greater social support, concerns remain about selection into religious attendance and more supportive relationships. In this paper, we employ data collected from the 2011 Miami-Dade Health Survey (n = 444) to assess the extent to which the association between religious attendance and social support is due to selection processes related to personality, health behavior, and health status. In our multinomial logistic regression of attendance, we find that the odds of weekly attendance are increased by extraversion and reduced by smoking. We also observe that religious attendance does not vary according to level of agreeableness, self-esteem, alcohol consumption, psychological distress, or physical health. In our regression of support, we find that respondents who attend religious services weekly or more tend to report more social support than respondents who never attend. This association persisted with adjustments for age, gender, race, immigrant status, interview language, education, employment status, household income, financial strain, marital status (parent and respondent), the presence of children, family difficulties, personality (agreeableness, extroversion, and self-esteem), health behavior (smoking, binge drinking, and substance use), and health status (psychological distress, activity limitations, and overall physical health). Across models, the association between weekly attendance and social support is attenuated by no more than 7%. This attenuation is due to personality (extraversion), not health behavior or health status. We conclude that the association between religious attendance and social support is primarily driven by integration processes rather than any selection processes we have considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalReview of religious research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Social Support
Religion
Health Status
Smoking
Extraversion
Psychological Distress
Self-esteem
Physical Health
Alcohol
Income
Binge Drinking
Household
Logistic Regression
Marital Status
Substance Use
Miami
Attenuation
Immigrants
Language Education
Health

Keywords

  • Health
  • Health behavior
  • Personality
  • Religious attendance
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy

Cite this

Religious Attendance and Social Support : Integration or Selection? / Bradley, Christopher S.; Hill, Terrence D.; Burdette, Amy M.; Mossakowski, Krysia N.; Johnson, Robert J.

In: Review of religious research, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bradley, Christopher S. ; Hill, Terrence D. ; Burdette, Amy M. ; Mossakowski, Krysia N. ; Johnson, Robert J. / Religious Attendance and Social Support : Integration or Selection?. In: Review of religious research. 2019.
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