Furthermore, religion can affect policy, a prime example arising in the Philippines, where provision of reproductive health services, including family planning and contraception was hampered by the Catholic Church. (1995). & Martin, L.R. Religion is a subject that we encounter daily, either because we follow a specific faith and the rules established by it, or because we meet people who proclaim their faith unabashed, or because we know it is a taboo subject in social conversations. They were also less likely to smoke (tobacco or marijuana) or drink heavily.53), The 2001 cycle of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) showed that fewer children from families who worshiped had been diagnosed with ADHD (5.2%) than children whose families did not worship (7.1%).54) (See Chart ), NHIS also showed that families that worshiped every other week (or more) were less likely to have been told that their child had a learning disability (6.7 percent) than were families that did not worship (10.2 percent).55) (See Chart Below), 1.2 Stress, Self-Esteem, and Coping Skills, 4. It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. Without spirituality does critical health psychology risk fostering cultural iatrogenesis?. & Blazer, D.G. Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse [Online], 3. American Journal of Public Health, 88, 1469-1475. Religiosity is associated with affective and immune status in symnptomatic HIV-infected gay men. Most do not eat meat and abstain from all beef products. Religiosity/Spirituality and health: A critical review of the evidence for biological pathways. Infante, J.R., Peran, F., Martinez, M., Roldan, A., Poyatos, R. Ruiz, C., Garrido, S. & Garrido, F. (1998). There was always some type of religion connected to our kind. (1992). Koenig, H.G., Cohen, H.J., George, L.K., Hays, J.C., Larson, D.B. (2009). & Ellison, C.G. Regular religious practice lessens depression, promotes self-esteem, and builds familial and marital happiness. Journal of Health Psychology ,8, 223-229. When making decisions, a person must rationally analyze their options and understand potential outcomes. Yes, religion does affect your mental health, and as the stats show, it affects positively. Attendance at religious services, interleukin-6, and other biological parameters of immune function in older adults. All three conditions share some common features, one of the most observed... Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious public health issue that results in social, psychological, emotional, and physical consequences. Oman, D. & Thorensen, C.E. Effects of Religious Practice on Health. Regular religious practice lessens depression, promotes self-esteem, and builds familial and marital happiness. 2011. Similar issues arise in countries composed of other faiths, such as Islam. Though its affect on public health is complex and not always recognized by healthcare professionals. Is Medical Debt a Social Determinant of Health? In light of these considerations, Oman and Thorensen (2003) point out that health psychology should cultivate an understanding of how religion and spirituality are felt, lived, and experienced by the populations of interest. ‘Does religion cause health? ACTH and β-endorphin in transcendental meditation. Although no two religions hold exactly the same ideology about diet, health, and spiritual wellness , many do embrace similar practices. & Thorensen, C.E. (2004). However, a major problem in the study of the relationship between spirituality/religion and health is that randomization is very hard to do, sometimes even impossible. Idler, E.L. & Kasl, S.V. In the past two decades, the number of studies devoted to the problem of the influence of religious fasting on health has increased considerably. We used to worship the strong and big animals, natural assurances like lightning storm and fire. Religion and spirituality have distinct but complementary influences on health, new research indicates. Walton, K.G., Pugh, N.D., Gerderloos, P. & Macrae, P. (1995). While studies have linked Medical Debt to decreased savings, reduced health access, foreclosure of homes, and loss of income, there has been little to no research exploring Medical Debt’s effect as a social determinant of health. By emphasizing the conceptualizing of spirituality/religion and by considering the inherent methodological issues of research on spirituality/religion and health, the stage is set for focusing on the research as such. Home | Current Issue | Blog | Archives | A vast literature suggests that people who are more deeply involved in religion tend to enjoy better physical and mental health. Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse 3.01 (2011). & Cohen, R.D (2002). & Davidson, J.M. Dealing with the issue of healthcare is no small challenge for any country, either rich or poor. Journal of Biosocial Science, 35, 463-472. These dress change over will affect social compatibility and lead to conflicts. Religion exists almost as long as does human kind. Buddhist monks fast completely on … Pesut, B., Fowler, M., Taylor, E.J., Reimer-Kirkham, S. & Sawatzky, R. (2008). But when people convert to other religions, they tend to change. Colantonio, A., Kasl, S.V. Preventive Medicine, 27, 545-552. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 28, 189-213. Tuberculosis, malaria, mental illnesses, and especially HIV/AIDS are health issues with which Ethiopia continues to grapple. Religion has the benefit of empowering the individual through connecting him/her to a community, and to a superior force, that might in turn give psychological stability (Oman & Thorensen, 2003). Religious practice substantially contributes to physical and mental health. Woods, T.E., Antoni, M.H., Ironson, G.H. The General Social Survey (GSS) also showed that 35 percent of adults who attended religious services at least monthly and lived in an intact family through adolescence considered themselves very happy, compared to 23 percent of adults who attended religious services less than monthly and lived in a non-intact family as adolescents.12) (See Chart Below), More frequent attendance at religious services predicted less distress among adults13) and high school students,14) even when controlling for for normal sociodemographic predictors.15) For adults, a strong belief in eternal life also predicted less harmful stress from work-related problems.16) African-Americans who were more religious reported a greater sense of control than less religious respondents; this greater sense of control was, in turn, correlated with decreased distress.17) People who were frequently involved in religious activities and highly valued their religious faith were at reduced risk of depression, according to a review of more than 100 studies.18) Those who participated in community religious services had lower levels of depression than those who did not fellowship in a religious community but prayed alone.19) First-graders and kindergartners whose parents attended religious services were less likely to experience anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem, and sadness.20) Adolescents at one public school in Texas who frequently attended religious services and derived great meaning and purpose from religion in their lives had lower levels of depression than their less religious peers.21), Membership in a religious community can enhance coping skills. In addition, spirituality/religion can mediate the relationship between another variable (e.g., quality of life) and a health outcome (Miller & Thorensen, 2003). McCullough, M.E., Friedman, H.S., Enders, C.K. Jevning, R., Wilson, A.F. Physiology and Behavior, 50, 543-548. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24, 34-48. Sarri, K.O., Tzanakis, N.E., Linardakis, M.K., Mamalakis, G. D. & Kafatos, A.D. (2003). (1998). Changes in cardiovascular risk factors and hormones during a comprehensive residential three month Kriya yoga training and vegetarian nutrition. How Do Spirituality and Religion Influence Health? Religion is not only “researchable,” but it is also of essential interest to clinicians, doctors, patients and health psychologists. In scientific discourse it is only recently that religion has received any special attention. Is there, in short, a God dividend? British Medical Journal, 290, 1103-1106. Surveys regularly show that roughly 90 … Religious involvement and U.S. adult mortality. “Separately, many family members of critically ill patients find solace in their religious or spiritual beliefs and it may be helpful for clinicians to … This developing identification has created a void as people move away from the traditional, established symbols and maps of meaning. Finally, the ‘psychobehavioral’ interpretation, stresses that religion can influence health through various psychological conditions such as character, will-power, focused attention or increased motivation beyond pathways such as social support (Oman & Thorensen, 2002). Religion is considered too personal a subject. &Williams, D.R. Religion can also be conceptualized as religiousness, as an individual phenomenon, characterized by the adherence of an individual to specific beliefs and practices (Miller & Thorensen, 2003). This analysis included a wide diversity of ages, races, and denominations.4), Religious affiliation and regular church attendance were among the most common reasons people gave to explain their own happiness.5) Happiness was greater and psychological health was better among those who attended religious services regularly.6) According to the Pew Research Center, highly religious7) Americans are more likely to be “Very happy with the way things are going in life” and to be “Very satisfied with family life” than their less religious counterparts.8) A majority of the literature in an extensive review concluded that religious commitment and practice lead to increased self-esteem and that religious practice correlated with increased social support.9) Older Americans who went to church frequently were more likely to have a closer relationship with God, more likely to provide social support for family and friends, and more likely to have a deeper sense of meaning in life.10), According to the General Social Survey (GSS), 34.1 percent of adults who attended religious services at least monthly as adolescents considered themselves very happy, compared to 28.9 percent of adults who attended worship less than monthly as adolescents.11) (See Chart), Those who worshiped frequently and were raised in an intact family tended to be the most happy. The focus has been on trait similarity (i.e. American Journal of Kidney Diseases, 24, 42-49. Steffen, P.R., Hinderliter, A.L., Blumenthal, J.A. Religion can create many communities by sharing the same faiths, beliefs and values; however community has numerous associations depending on how it is used and in what context. The first of these, the ‘any pathway’ interpretation, considers that spirituality/religion can influence health through any of the four pathways noted above (health behaviors, social support, psychological states and psi influences). Religion and Mental Health . There is also a strong social networking benefit of a shared activity that is often emotionally uplifting. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 1, 263-283. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 27, 233-250. The difficulty in conceptualizing spirituality/religion comes from the multidimensionality of these concepts (Miller & Thorensen, 2003), and extends to the problem of how exactly spirituality/religion influence health. The Breast Cancer Journal, 7, 345-353. Al-Kandari, Y.Y. Surveys show that people would like to be able to talk about matters of faith in psychological treatment. Listening to their beliefs and views on their faith along with how those beliefs are tied into their health can build trust between physician and patient. (2002). While in other cultures, typically collectivist, these negative outcomes aren’t seen.... Research has shown that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) shares similar genetic roots with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). (1992). - 80% of research on spirituality/religiousness and health focuses on mental health. Moreover, the views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Inquiries Journal or Student Pulse, its owners, staff, contributors, or affiliates. These negative thoughts associated with religion can be linked to higher rates of depression and lower quality of life. the “Birds of a Feather” concept) without a clear answer... Conceptualizing Spirituality and Religion and Methodological Considerations. Religion, disability, depression and the timing of death. Journal of Health Psychology, 7, 365-380. Now, if this experience occurs in a church service, does it produce even greater well-being and happiness? If these other predictors are entered first in a regression equation, they will account for most of the proportion of variance in the health outcome. The health savings value of religious practice in 2012 was around $115.5 billion, according to Rodney Stark, Pulitzer Prize nominee and Baylor University researcher.1), Good mental health is highly correlated to religious participation.2) An increase in religious practice was associated with having greater hope and a greater sense of purpose in life.3) A systemic literature review of 99 studies found “some positive association…between religious involvement and greater happiness, life satisfaction, morale, positive affect, or some other measure of well-being” 81 percent of the time. However, because this resource is not investigated and used at its full capacity, health psychology risks promoting a cultural iatrogenesis (healer-induced disability to cope with illness) (Oman & Thorensen, 2003). Indeed, some factors may interact with other variables, such that, for example, the relationship spirituality/religion and a health outcome can be different, depending on the categorical level of another variable (e.g. American Psychologist, 58, 53-63. Adolescent Practice of Religious Worship, http://www.manhattaninstitute.org/pdf/crrucs_objective_hope.pdf, http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2016/04/Religion-in-Everyday-Life-FINAL.pdf, http://marri.us/wp-content/uploads/MA-49-51-165.pdf, http://marri.us/wp-content/uploads/MA-34-36-160.pdf, http://marri.us/wp-content/uploads/MA-140.pdf, http://marri.us/wp-content/uploads/MA-141.pdf, 95 Social Science Reasons for Religious Worship and Practice, Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability. Depressive symptoms and other psychosocial factors as predictors of stroke in the elderly. Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse, 3(01). In a world dominated by a culture of consumption, religion offers a venue for individuals to commit to something beyond themselves, in addition to empowering the community, overall. Previously considered as outside of the sphere of research for the perceived impossibility in using any scientific method to study it, religion is now prominent in scientific studies that investigate its influence on health (Miller & Thorensen, 2003). American Journal of Epidemiology, 136, 884-894. The devoutly religious have fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression in addition to having a better ability to cope with stressors. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 46, 165-176. In the battle to prevent and eradicate such maladies... Medical Debt has largely been viewed as a financial burden. Then when the spirituality/religion predictor is entered, it might show a significant increase in the proportion of variance. The Mexican American Health Paradox: The Collective Influence of Sociocultural Factors on Hispanic Health Outcomes, Pain and Power: BDSM as Spiritual Expression, A Quantitative Evaluation of Shame Resilience Theory, Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Teenagers with High-Functioning Autism, Intergenerational Intimate Partner Violence: Pathways of Genetic and Environmental Interactions, The Weight of Emotions on Decision-Making: A Comparative Analysis, A Historical Perspective on the Cultural Connotations Surrounding Eating Disorders, The Psychology of Romance: The Impact of Personality Traits on Romantic Relationships. Sudsuang, R., Chentanez, V. & Vevulan, K. (1991). Four most prominent such pathways have been proposed: health behaviors (through prescribing a certain diet and/or discouraging the abuse of alcoholic beverages, smoking, etc., religion can protect and promote a healthy lifestyle), social support (people can experience social contact with co-religionists and have a web of social relations that can help and protect whenever the case), psychological states (religious people can experience a better mental health, more positive psychological states, more optimism and faith, which in turn can lead to a better physical state due to less stress) and ‘psi’ influences (supernatural laws that govern ‘energies’ not currently comprehended by science but possibly understandable at some point by science). (2003). Religion and spirituality: Linkages to physical health. The Ironson-Woods spirituality/religiousness index is associated with long survival, health behaviors, less distress, and low cortisol in people with HIV/AIDS. Hixon, K.A., Gruchow, H.W. Religion helps followers engage in healthier lifestyle practices on a daily basis. Religiosity and its relation to blood pressure among selected Kuwaitis. Psychosomatic Medicine, 63, 523-530. This would help professionals release the old stereotypes and prejudices that they have about this topic. Thus, whereas spirituality is understood at the level of the individual, religion is more of a social phenomenon, and as such is included in the more overarching concept of spirituality. Trial of relaxation reducing coronary risk: Four year follow up. Spirituality, religion, and health: An emerging research field. Ironson, G., Solomon, G.F., Balbin, E.G., O'Cleirigh, C., George, A., Kumar, M., Larson, D. & Woods, T.E. [1] These serious illnesses, which have the greatest mortality rate of any psychological disorder, are characterized... Research shows conflicting results when relaying how personality traits play into successful and satisfying romantic relationships. Progressive multivariate adjustments were done for age, gender, sociodemographic variables, health status, social connnections and health behaviors, and the analyses showed that healthy lifestyle behaviors represent the major pathway through which religious involvement influences health but that it does not explain all the influence. This kind of definition allows for further distinctions, such as the one between unspiritual religiousness (e.g., observing some practices for the social benefits), or unreligious spirituality (e.g., mystical experiences of individuals without a religious context). Religious attendance and cause of death over 31 years. But, religions bring in dress changes like wearing a fully covered dress for women or sari for Hindu women. Oman, D. & Reed, D. (1998). This, in turn, emphasizes the fact that there are multiple interpretations of how spirituality/religion influences health and a number of pathways through which this happens. Physiology and Behavior, 64, 311-315. In addition, the existing and growing literature on the benefits of religion/spirituality should be more thoroughly explored and research on the theme should be encouraged. These facets can have a large positive impact on mental health— research suggests that religiosity reduces suicide rates, alcoholism and drug use. Koenig, H.G., George, L.K., Hays, J.C., Larson, D.B., Cohen, H.J. (2003). Expressed beliefs lead to differences in response to illness and disease, influencing health seeking behaviour, interpretation, and ultimately diagnosis by health care practitioners. The Rise of Global Health: How Did Health Become a Matter of Global Concern? Finally, with the aid of community health psychology, the field of health psychology at large should move towards promoting culture as a means of understanding between health care provider and patient and in the interest of prevention, as well. (2003). , Basu-Zharku, Iulia O. (2001). Individuals who practice a religious belief system have been noted to experience a wealth of psychological benefits from their belief. Religious involvement and mortality: A meta-analytic review. Whether and how religion and spirituality training are critical components of students’ and clinicians’ development of cultural humility is explored in this month's issue. Religious struggle as a predictor of mortality among medically ill elderly patients: A 2-year longitudinal study. Yet, it is associated with poor mental and behavioral health as well as lower wellbeing and negative relational strategies. Spiritual expression and immune status in women with metastatic breast cancer: An explanatory study. BMC Public Health, 3. McCullough, M.E., Hoyt, W.T., Larson, D.B., Koenig, H.G. Disclaimer: content on this website is for informational purposes only. For others, religion and spirituality may be sources of problems that need to be addressed in the service of their health and well-being. Four most prominent such pathways have been proposed: health behaviors (through prescribing a certain diet and/or discouraging the abuse of alcoholic beverages, smoking, etc., religion can protect and promote a healthy lifestyle), social support (people can experience social contact with co-religionists and have a web of social relations that can help and protect whenever the case), … (2000). This ability to empower could be used by health psychologists in medical settings (and not only) to help those who struggle with a disease or to promote a healthier lifestyle. Acta Psychologica Scandinavica: Supplementum, 160, 158-162. Medical Journal of Islamic Academy of Sciences, 13, 35-38. However, those benefits tend to diminish depending on whether or not their faith is extrinsic or intrinsic. Religious belief impacts human health in a variety of ways, from blood pressure to psychological well-being. This empowering happens through consciousness of religious principles, such as the sanctity of human life, shared identity, meaningful roles in the community and society at large, a variety of spiritual, social and economic support, social networks, and even leadership for social change and protection in time of conflicts. The same study reported that women who were already depressed were less likely to attend religious services weekly or more, which in turn can worsen their depression.30) Levels of depression were also lower for those who participated in religious services than they were for those who only prayed on their own.31), Studies have found that adolescents who frequently attended religious services and had a high level of spiritual support from others in their community had the lowest levels of depression.32) Adolescents at a school in Texas who frequently attended religious services and derived great meaning and purpose from religion had lower levels of depression than their less religious peers.33) Conversely, a lack of religious affiliation correlated with an increased risk of suicide.34) Immigrant youth likewise enjoyed the benefits of a higher level of general well-being when they attended religious services frequently.35), Men and women who attended church weekly had the lowest mortality rates.36) Religious practice delivered longevity benefits, most significantly by encouraging a support network among family and friends that helped to maintain a pattern of regimented care, reducing one’s mortality risk from infectious diseases and diabetes.37) Greater longevity was consistently and significantly correlated with higher levels of religious practice and involvement, regardless of the sex, race, education, or health history of those studied.38) A review of medical, public health, and social science literature that empirically addressed the link between religion and mortality found that religious practice decreased mortality rates.39) Those who were religiously involved live an average of seven years longer than those who were not. 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Ses etc. ) higher rates of depression and the timing of over! At other times, this connection may be sources of problems that need to be addressed in the service their! Total abstinence from any rejection or selective rejection how does religion affect health certain foods prohibited on religious grounds risk... Surveys show that roughly 90 … religion and well-being in dress changes like wearing a covered. Can serve as a barrier to treatment depending on whether or not their faith is or... Scientific discourse it is only recently that religion has received any special.... Under stress support for a psychoneuroendocrine mechanism yet, it offers the only hope that they about! Critical review of the transcendental meditation program of their health and well-being: Assessing the for... Seeman, M., Thorensen, C.E all beef products extrinsic or intrinsic benefits tend to depending! Distinct but complementary influences on health, and other psychosocial factors as predictors of in. 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