Socioeconomic Differences in the Effects of Prayer on Physical Symptoms and Quality of Life

University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-1726, USA.
Journal of Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.22). 04/2007; 12(2):249-60. DOI: 10.1177/1359105307074251
Source: PubMed


The extent to which religiosity is related to well-being may differ as a function of race/ethnicity, education or income. We asked 155 caregivers to complete measures of religiosity, prayer, physical symptoms and quality of life. Lower education and, to a lesser extent, lower income were correlated with religiosity and prayer. There were few direct relationships of religiosity and prayer with quality of life and health symptoms. However, the relationships became significant when education and, to a lesser degree, income were taken into account. Prayer was associated with fewer health symptoms and better quality of life among less educated caregivers.

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    • "Optimism and pessimism have both been found to independently contribute to mental health outcomes with optimism being related to lower levels of depression and greater life satisfaction and pessimism being related to higher levels of depression and poorer life satisfaction (Plomin et al. 1992). People who define themselves as religious and who identify with a specific religious tradition tend to be less depressed, to have greater self-esteem (Keyes, & Reitzes 2007; Schnittker 2001), more effective coping skills (Banthia et al. 2007; Pargament et al. 2001), greater happiness (Ellison 1991), greater life satisfaction (Gautherier et al. 2006), and improved physical health (Wink et al. 2005). Once again, it is not the specific religious affiliation per se that appears to matter, but the strength of the religious affiliation. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study compares the effects of religiosity on health and well-being, controlling for work and family. With 2006 GSS data, we assess the effects of religiosity on health and well-being, net of job satisfaction, marital happiness, and financial status. The results indicate that people who identify as religious tend to report better health and happiness, regardless of religious affiliation, religious activities, work and family, social support, or financial status. People with liberal religious beliefs tend to be healthier but less happy than people with fundamentalist beliefs. Future research should probe how religious identity and beliefs impact health and well-being.
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    ABSTRACT: This research aims to explore Satisfaction with Religiosity/Spirituality (SR/S) in a large sample of Muslims (1388 males, 1172 females) from Algeria. It also provides empirical evidence for the addition of a SR/S Domain item to the Personal Well-Being Index (PWI). A questionnaire dealing with satisfaction with a range of personal and societal domains was used. Results support previous findings (Wills Journal of Happiness Studies 10(1):49–69, 2009), and are in agreement with the recommendations of the International Well-being Group (Group discussion, 2006; IWG 2006). The new domain item makes a statistically significant — albeit a slight — contribution in predicting general satisfaction with life (SWL). Notably, higher satisfaction with religiosity/spirituality is found in women compared to men, married individuals compared to single ones, and inhabitants of the Sahara desert locations compared to people from other regions of Algeria.
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