Is religion a health resource for the poor?

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7 Scopus citations


This paper uses data from the 2004 General Social Survey to examine the relationship between religious belief and practice (religiosity), spirituality, social support, and health status. Health status is conceptualized first in terms of a subjective assessment and, second, as two objective indicators of physical problems. These relationships were examined first within the total GSS sample, and then separately for respondents who reported below or above the median annual income. Results indicate that spirituality is a positive predictor of respondents' subjective assessment of their health in the overall sample, but not in either separate income group. Social support does not predict positive subjective or objective health outcomes in the entire sample or for any income group. However, religiosity is a positive predictor of physical health, but only for the most severe of the physical health problems measured, and only for respondents whose annual income is below the national median. Thus, it appears that religiosity is a health resource for those below average income.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-503
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Science Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


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