Neal Krause

Neal Krause
University of Michigan | U-M · Department of Health Behavior and Health Education

Ph.D.

About

390
Publications
70,116
Reads
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20,012
Citations
Citations since 2017
54 Research Items
7198 Citations
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Additional affiliations
September 1982 - July 1986
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (390)
Article
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between feeling grateful to God and change in chronic health problems. Three sets of findings are provided. First, the data suggest that feeling grateful to God is associated with more chronic health conditions among younger adults while older adults who are grateful to God report fewer chro...
Article
Objectives: Age-associated accelerated declines in physical health vary across individuals, and researchers have suggested that individual differences in decline may vary as a function of stressors. The relation of one such stressor, negative social exchanges, to accelerated declines in self-rated health is investigated. Method: Participants are f...
Chapter
Five issues are examined in this summary chapter: (1) the major challenges that were encountered in writing his volume are reviewed and the solutions to them are identified, (2) further advice and encouragement are given to emerging scholars who wish to study religion and health, (3) the implications of the insights in this volume for the developme...
Book
The literature on the relationship between religion and health is vast, but it is in a state of disarray. One empirical study has been piled upon another, while little effort has been made to integrate them into a more tightly knit theoretical whole. This book was designed to address this problem. It is the product of 40 years of empirical research...
Article
The purpose of this study is to see if God-mediated control beliefs moderate the relationship between participation in combat and alcohol intake. God-mediated control refers to the belief that people can work together with God to deal with the problems that confront them and the plans they make. The data are from a nationwide probability sample of...
Article
Full-text available
Social scientists have increasingly recognized the lack of diversity in survey research on American religion, resulting in a dearth of data on religion and spirituality (R/S) in understudied racial and ethnic groups. At the same time, epidemiological studies have increasingly diversified their racial and ethnic representation, but have collected fe...
Article
Racial-ethnic minorities report lower distress tolerance (DT) despite being exposed to more psychological stress. The literature exploring group differences in DT suggest racial-ethnic minorities endorse more religious and spiritual hope than their non-Hispanic White (NHW) counterparts. Despite this, experimental literature suggests non-secular hop...
Article
This research note explores the stress‐moderating effects of attributing a problem‐solving role to God among a nationwide sample of 2,260 Americans. Specifically, the ways in which the perception of “God‐as‐a‐problem‐solver” moderates stress is explored for Americans reporting low and high levels of social support from other people. Within a model...
Article
Full-text available
Research indicates that people with strong social support networks tend to cope more effectively with stressful life events. This study aims to contribute to this literature in three ways. First, we assess spiritual social support that was received in religious institutions. Spiritual support is assistance that is provided with the explicit purpose...
Article
Previous analysis of the data that are used in this study reveal that compared to people who self-identify as religious and spiritual, spiritual only, and neither religious nor spiritual, study participants who are religious only are more likely to experience physical and mental health problems. The purpose of this study is to conduct a descriptive...
Article
Objectives: Three sets of analyses are performed in our study. First, following Erikson (1959), we hypothesized that the relationship between age and meaning becomes progressively stronger at successively older ages (i.e., the relationship is nonlinear). Second, following Carstensen (1992), we predicted that the relationship between age and social...
Article
There is considerable debate about the distinction between being religious and being spiritual. It is time to move beyond this issue to an examination of the health-related implications of being religious and/or spiritual. Three health outcomes are used in this study: self-rated health, depressive symptoms, and alcohol use. The data are from a larg...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study is to see whether there are age differences in the relationship between church-based social ties and Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) antibodies among Hispanics (250) and non-Hispanic Whites (N = 602). The data indicate that emotional support that is received from fellow church members is associated with lower EBV values among His...
Article
Background. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep is an important component of living a healthy lifestyle. Consequently, it is important for researchers to identify the factors that influence sleep duration. Aims. The current study has a twofold objective. The first is to see if two types of social support are associated with sleep duration. The sec...
Article
This study addresses two issues. The first is to identify the aspects of religious life that are associated with benevolent images of God including denominational affiliation (Conservative Christians versus others), church attendance, and church-based social support (i.e., spiritual support). Data from a nationwide survey suggests that church-based...
Article
There is growing evidence that a sense of meaning in life may emerge, in part, from the social relationships that people maintain. But it is not clear how the relationship between social ties and a sense of meaning might arise. The purpose of this study is to see if meaning in life is associated with three socially focused virtues: compassion, forg...
Article
I’ll discuss three themes in my presentation. First, I’ll share some thoughts on the social nature of the work we do as gerontologists. My intent is to show that there really is no such thing as “my” work and (separately) “your” work. Instead, there is only “our” work – something we do collectively as a community of scholars. Second, I’ll present t...
Article
Full-text available
Many people rely on religion to deal with the stressors in their lives. The purpose of this study is to examine a religious coping resource that has received relatively little attention—reading the Bible. We evaluated three hypotheses: (1) reading the Bible moderates the relationship between stress and hope; (2) people who read the Bible more often...
Article
Full-text available
Inflammation, often measured by C-reactive protein (CRP), is thought to be related to a number of debilitating illnesses as we age, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Stress has also been implicated in these processes. This study examines potential protective effects of spirituality and religion in older adults who have experien...
Article
Full-text available
A number of investigators have studied biblical inerrancy (i.e., the belief that the Bible is inspired by God, free from error, and should be interpreted literally). However, there has been little research on the relationship between biblical inerrancy and mental health outcomes. The purpose of this study is to address this gap in the literature. T...
Article
According to sanctification theory, religious people tend to imbue certain aspects of their lives with spiritual character and significance. Moreover, they take active steps to preserve and protect sacred aspects of their lives that might be threatened. If they are successful, they derive a deep sense of satisfaction and well‐being. However, when s...
Article
Previous research suggests that people who feel forgiven by God may experience lower levels of death anxiety. The purpose of the current study is to contribute to this work by assessing whether the relationship between forgiveness by God and death anxiety varies according to how people view God. Three images of God are assessed: a pantheistic view...
Article
The purpose of this study is to see if the use of religious coping responses is associated with alcohol intake. In addition, tests are conducted to see if the relationship between religion and alcohol use varies by gender. Data from a recent nationwide survey (N = 2173) indicate that greater use of religious coping responses is associated with less...
Article
Full-text available
A well-developed literature suggests that people who volunteer more often tend to enjoy better physical and mental health. The current study contributes to this work in three potentially important ways. First, the authors assess whether volunteering in religious settings is more strongly associated with well-being than volunteering in secular conte...
Article
One of the primary functions of religion is to help people cope with the stressful life events. The purpose of the current study is to see if God-mediated control beliefs perform this stress-buffering function. God-mediated control refers to the belief that people work together with God to reduce the effects of unwanted stressors in their lives. An...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study is estimate a model that contains five hypotheses: (1) people who attend worship services more often will receive more spiritual support; (2) individuals who receive more spiritual support will be more humble; (3) people who are more humble will be more likely to forgive; (4) people who are more forgiving will find a great...
Article
The purpose of this study is to see if a pantheistic view of God (i.e., God is all around us in nature), a theistic view of God (i.e., God is the creator of the universe who protects us), and a deistic view of God (i.e., God created the universe and then left people to fend for themselves) moderate the relationship between chronic financial strain...
Article
Full-text available
The ways in which religious beliefs influence beliefs about health have important implications for motivation to engage in positive health behaviors and comply with medical treatment. This study examines the prevalence of two health-related religious beliefs: belief in healing miracles and deferral of responsibility for health outcomes to God. Data...
Article
Growing evidence suggests that spiritual struggles may play a major role in explaining the relationship between religion and health. Even so, there are significant gaps in the literature. More specifically, researchers do not know enough about how spiritual struggles arise in the first place. This study has two major goals. The first is to see whet...
Article
The total and indirect effect of hostility on systolic and diastolic blood pressure was compared as a function of religious and spirituality identity in a nationally representative sample of 2971 adults aged 46.44 years. Structural equation modeling uncovered an indirect path from hostility to diastolic blood pressure via unhealthy behaviors and ho...
Article
Religious/spiritual struggle (R/S struggle) often occurs in the context of stressful life events and is consistently associated with higher levels of psychological distress. However, little is known about the factors that cushion or exacerbate the effects of stressful life events on R/S struggle. The orienting system is an individual’s general way...
Article
Background: Although a good deal of research has assessed the positive effects that involvement in religion has on alcohol use, there is relatively little research on the negative aspects of religious life and alcohol problems. Objectives: This study has two objectives. The first is to see if spiritual struggles are associated with problem drink...
Article
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between spiritual struggles and levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) with a subsample (N = 943) of participants who took part in a nationwide survey. This study, which was completed in 2014, was conducted in the United States. Spiritual struggles refer to difficulties that a person may encounter w...
Article
Full-text available
Findings from a considerable number of studies suggest that a wide range of psychosocial factors are associated with sleep quality. However, it is surprising to find that very few studies assess the relationship between religion and sleep quality. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between three key measures of religion and sl...
Article
The purpose of this study was to see if a person's level of commitment to religion moderates the relationship between forgiveness by God and waist/hip ratios. The data come from a nationwide probability survey of adults of all ages (N = 2,453). Interviewers measured respondents' waist and hip circumference. Questions were administered to assess how...
Article
Objective: There is a substantial body of literature describing the association between inflammatory biomarkers and negative emotional factors (i.e. depression). However, less is known about how they might be related to positive psychological variables. This study examined the association between positive emotional well-being (PEWB) and C-Reactive...
Article
Research on the locus of control construct conveys the impression that more control is always better. However, some studies suggest that very high levels of control are associated with negative outcomes. The purpose of this study was to see if this is true of religiously oriented feelings of control (i.e., God-mediated control). The outcome was ant...
Article
The purpose of this study is to examine the interface between involvement in religion and self-forgiveness. The data come from a recent nationwide survey of adults age 18 and older (N = 1774). A conceptual model was developed that contains the following hypotheses: (1) Evangelicals will attend worship services more frequently than members of other...
Article
Research reveals that a number of different aspects of religious involvement are associated with happiness. However, researchers have yet to provide an overarching theoretical explanation for how multiple dimensions of religion might be associated with happiness. The purpose of this study is to develop and test a conceptual model that includes the...
Article
Research indicates that feeling grateful is associated with better physical health. However, most studies rely on self-reports of health. The purpose of this study is to see if feelings of gratitude in general as well as feeling grateful to God specifically are associated with a key biomarker of health – hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). HbA1c is an indicato...
Article
The purpose of this study is to see if social support that is exchanged in religious institutions moderates the relationship between stressful life events and cholesterol. The data come from a nationwide survey of adults of all ages (N = 816). Based on data from blood samples, cholesterol was measured by subtracting high-density lipoprotein from to...
Article
Full-text available
How people view God is an important part of religious life. The purpose of this study is to see if four positive God image measures and two measures of positive emotions toward God vary among Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics. The data come from a recent nationwide survey in the United States (N = 2500). The findings reveal that, compared to Whites and...
Article
Full-text available
Research indicates that greater involvement in volunteer activities is associated with better health. We aim to contribute to this literature in two ways. First, rather than rely on self-reports of health, measured resting pulse rates serve as the dependent variable. Second, an effort is made to see if religious commitment moderates the relationshi...
Article
A number of studies have examined religious transformations. But most of this work has been concerned with identifying different types of transformations and steps in the process of transformation. The current study was designed to examine the ways in which religious transformations may be associated with happiness. We take a novel approach toward...
Article
Background Stress is a common feature of life and has routinely been linked with negative health outcomes. However, meaning has been identified as a possible buffer against stress. PurposeThe purpose of the current study was to examine whether the relationship between stress and health was mediated by meaning in life. Methods Drawing from Wave 1 of...
Article
In this issue of the Journal, VanderWeele et al. (Am J Epidemiol. 2017;000(00):000-000) report that more frequent attendance at worship services is associated with a lower mortality risk. However, the underlying processes that might explain this relationship were not discussed fully. A problem arises because the potentially beneficial association b...
Article
A growing body of research suggests that greater exposure to spiritual struggles is associated with more physical and mental health problems. Spiritual struggles involve difficulties that a person may encounter with his or her faith, which may include having a troubled relationship with God, encountering difficulties with religious others, or being...
Article
The purpose of this study is to address two issues. First, an effort is made to see if there are age differences in the prevalence of spiritual struggles. Second, tests are performed to see if age differences exist in the relationship between spiritual struggles and physical health. Data from a recent nationwide survey reveal that younger adults re...
Article
Full-text available
Some researchers report that people who are more deeply involved in religion may be more obese, but other investigators have been unable to replicate these findings. The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between religious life and obesity with data from a recent nationwide survey, the Landmark Spirituality and Health Surv...
Chapter
Philosophers, theologians, and researchers have discussed the relationship between religion and health for well over 100 years. However, it wasn't until more recently that empirical research on religion and health began to appear on a regular basis. A good deal of the early work focused on the relationship between attendance at worship services, he...
Article
The purpose of this study is to see whether involvement in religion is associated with loneliness and health. A theoretical model is developed to explain how the potentially beneficial effects of religiousness arise. The following core hypotheses are embedded in this conceptual scheme: (a) people who attend worship services more often are more like...
Article
Research indicates the people who have experienced a decline in their faith tend to have a diminished positive affect. However, it is not clear how the effects of decline in faith arise. The purpose of the current study is to examine the effects of four potentially important mediators: religious practices, compassion, providing support to others, a...
Article
Background: Research indicates that greater involvement in religion is associated with lower rates of substance use and misuse. However, religion is a complex construct that can be assessed in many ways. The purpose of this study is to explore a dimension of religion that has not been evaluated in previous research on poly-drug use: a religious se...
Article
Full-text available
Certain religious beliefs related to perceptions of internal or external health control (including belief in the existence of miraculous healing, and beliefs deferring responsibility for health outcomes from the self and onto God) may be related to health behaviors and in turn to health outcomes. Using data from a nationally representative US surve...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to test two hypotheses that specify different ways of configuring the interface between wisdom and humility. The first hypothesis specifies that greater wisdom is associated with greater humility. This hypothesis is based on the notion that wisdom is needed in order to know when to activate the virtue of humility. The...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between sanctification of life and health. Sanctification is defined as a process through which aspects of life are perceived as having divine character and significance. A latent variable model was created to test the following hypotheses that link sanctification with health: (1) people who...
Article
Research indicates that praying for others may offset the effects of stress on self-rated health and psychological well-being. The purpose of the current study is to extend this literature by seeing whether praying for others moderates the effects of exposure to lifetime trauma on a key marker of inflammation: C-reactive protein. The data come from...
Article
The purpose of this study is to see whether God-mediated control beliefs moderate the relationship between living in rundown neighborhoods and uncontrolled hypertension. God-mediated control refers to the belief that God will help people handle the stressors that arise in life. Data are provided by a nationwide survey of adults (N = 1919). Three wa...
Article
Full-text available
Obesity is a major health problem in the USA, and as a result, it is important to identify the factors that help people keep their body weight within healthy limits. The purpose of this study was to see whether receiving support at church and giving support at church buffer (i.e., moderate) the effects of living in rundown neighborhoods on a key ma...
Article
Full-text available
Research indicates that spiritual struggles (i.e., tensions and strains associated with sacred issues) are associated with greater psychological distress and diminished levels of well-being. However, fewer studies have assessed the relationship between spiritual struggles and indicators of physical health. The purpose of the current study is to see...
Article
A growing body of research suggests that people who are more deeply involved in religion may be more likely to adopt beneficial health behaviors. However, religion is a complex phenomenon, and as a result, religion may affect health behaviors in a number of ways. The purpose of the current study was to see whether a sacred view of the body (i.e., b...
Article
Full-text available
Although recent research suggests that the proportion of the US population identifying as non-religious has been rapidly expanding over the course of the last decade, relatively little research has examined the implications of this development for health and well-being. This study uses data from a large representative survey study of religion and h...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Previous studies have established robust links between religious/spiritual struggles (r/s struggles) and poorer well-being and psychological distress. A critical issue involves identifying the religious factors that buffer this relationship. This is the first study to empirically address this question. Specifically, it examines four relig...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: The purpose of this study is to see whether feelings of death anxiety are lower among older than among younger people. In addition, an effort is made to see whether religious hope explains this relationship. It is proposed that the inverse relationship between a religiously oriented sense of hope and death anxiety increases across succ...
Article
The purpose of this study is to empirically evaluate a conceptual model that explores the social aspects of congregational life that promote feelings of belonging in a congregation. The following core hypotheses are embedded in this model: (1) individuals who go to church more often will receive more spiritual support from fellow church members; (2...
Article
Background: The increased prevalence of depressive symptoms among adults diagnosed with chronic health issues has been largely documented. Objectives: Research is needed to clarify the effect of religiousness/spirituality in relation to chronic health conditions and depression, to establish whether these variables can serve as protective factors...
Article
The purpose of this study is to assess the effects of helping others on self-rated health in middle and late life. Data are from a nationwide sample of middle-aged and older adults (N = 1154). The findings indicate that women and Blacks are more likely than men or Whites to help others. Moreover, the results suggest that people who attend church mo...
Article
Full-text available
Research reveals that people tend to place greater value on emotional support as they move through the life course. Older people are likely to do so because emotional support benefits them in some way. The purpose of this study was to see whether there are age differences in the relationship between emotional support and the number of chronic healt...
Article
A growing body of research suggests that people who are more humble tend to enjoy better physical and mental health than individuals who are less humble. The next step in moving this literature forward involves explaining and empirically demonstrating how the potentially beneficial effects of humility arise. The purpose of this study is to address...
Article
The purpose of this chapter is to selectively review research on religious involvement in late life. The discussion is divided into four sections. Age differences in religiousness are examined in the first section. In the process, empirical research and theoretical frameworks which propose that people become more religious as they grow older are pr...
Article
Research on religion and death anxiety has produced many contradictory findings. These conflicting findings arise, in part, from inadequacies in the measurement of religion as well as problems with the way the data have been analyzed. The purpose of the current study is to develop and empirically evaluate a conceptual model that contains the follow...
Article
Object relations theory specifies that the nature of the relationship that individuals form with their primary caretaker serves as a prototype for the social relationships they develop in adulthood. Some investigators extend this perspective by arguing that social ties with caretakers also shape relationships with God. The purpose of this study is...
Article
This study is one of the first attempts to examine the relationships between religious and spiritual struggles (r/s struggles) measured comprehensively and indicators of psychological distress (i.e., depressive symptoms, generalized anxiety) and well-being (i.e., satisfaction with life, happiness) using a nationally representative sample of America...
Article
The purpose of this study is to assess social and psychological factors that have not been examined frequently in studies on forgiving others. A latent variable model is developed that contains the following core relationships: (1) people who attend worship services more often will receive more informal spiritual support from fellow church members;...
Article
Full-text available
Religious change has been studied from the perspectives of both individual development and societal progress, but a lack of long-term longitudinal data has limited the capacity to examine them simultaneously. This study uses repeated cross-sectional data from the World Values Survey/European Values Study, covering 80 nations over the period from 19...
Article
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For many individuals, religion provides important cognitive resources for coping with stressors, especially in older adulthood. Although older adults are thought to make more use of these coping strategies than those at younger ages, less is known about how patterns of use change during the span of older adulthood. In a largely Christian sample of...
Article
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Little is known about race/ethnic differences in the exchange of social support inside as well as outside religious institutions. The purpose of this study is to assess differences in giving and receiving social support inside and outside the church among Whites, Hispanics, and Blacks. Two types of social support are evaluated when support is asses...
Article
Practical wisdom is a master character strength that is needed when specific virtues must be translated into concrete action. Although scholars have discussed practical wisdom since the time of Aristotle, empirical research on this master virtue has been hampered by problems involving conceptualization and measurement. The primary purpose of the cu...
Article
This study has two goals. The first is to assess whether a benevolent image of God is associated with better physical health. The second goal is to examine the aspects of congregational life that is associated with a benevolent image of God. Data from a new nationwide survey (N = 1774) are used to test the following core hypotheses: (1) people who...
Article
Full-text available
This study assesses denominational differences in well-being among older Mexican Americans and examines differences between this group and older non-Hispanic Whites. Data came from two representative surveys of the US older adult population, focusing on each of these ethnic groups (N = 996 and N = 612, respectively). Evangelical Mexican Americans r...
Article
Trust in God has been widely identified as a central aspect of religious life, yet relatively few studies have examined whether trust in God is associated with better mental health. This study has two goals. The first is to see if Conservative Christians have greater trust in God than moderate or liberal Christians. The second goal is to see if tru...
Article
Research on differences in personal control among Blacks and Whites is conflicted. The purpose of this study is to see if differences in feelings of control between Blacks and Whites can be attributed to race differences in the use of religious resources. Developing a close relationship with God serves as the focal measure of religious involvement....
Article
Social and behavioral scientists have shown a growing interest in the study of virtues due, in part, to the influence of positive psychology. The underlying premise in this research is that adopting key virtues promotes a better quality of life. Consistent with this orientation, the purpose of this study is to assess the relationship between humili...
Article
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This study examines the relationship between facets of religious behavior, religious identity, and church-based social support with strategies used for coping with racial discrimination. Data come from the National Survey of American Life and includes separate representative samples of African Americans (n = 2,032) and Caribbean Blacks (n = 857). B...
Chapter
The purpose of this chapter is to examine the relationships among aging, forgiveness, and health. We examine six issues that have either not received sufficient attention or that are especially salient in the field. First, we discuss evidence for age differences in forgiveness, the association of forgiveness with health and well-being, and whether...
Article
Many faith traditions emphasize the importance of adopting a range of virtues. Yet relatively few studies examine more than one virtue at a time. Moreover, researchers know relatively little about variations in the adoption of virtues, especially variations by race. The purpose of this study is to see if race differences emerge in 9 virtues: gratit...
Article
This study has two goals. The first goal is to see if involvement in religion is associated with providing tangible support to family members and strangers. The second goal is to see if providing tangible support to family members and strangers is associated with well-being. A conceptual model, which was developed to address these issues, contains...
Article
Full-text available
Although older adults tend to be among the most religiously-involved groups of people, and are more likely to be affiliated with a religious group in comparison with their younger counterparts, very little is known about the extent to which older adults change their affiliations from one group to another, or what factors are associated with likelih...
Article
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The use of longitudinal designs in the field of religion and health makes it important to understand how attrition bias may affect findings in this area. This study examines attrition in a 4-wave, 8-year study of older adults. Attrition resulted in a sample biased toward more educated and more religiously involved individuals. Conditional linear gr...
Article
Objectives: This study evaluates a latent variable model that assesses the relationships among hostility, church attendance, helping others, gratitude, and self-rated health. Methods: The participants come from the sixth wave of a nationwide survey of older adults (N = 1,011). Results: The data suggest that older individuals who go to church l...
Article
Having trust in God is widely viewed as an essential component of many faith traditions (e.g., Christianity). Even so, researchers have paid relatively little attention to this core facet of religious life. The purpose of this study was to see if trust in God helps offset the effects of chronic economic problems on self-rated health, depressed affe...
Article
Positive health outcomes are related to adults’ religious congregational participation. For parents of children with chronic disease, structured daily care routines and/or strict infection control precautions may limit participation. For this exploratory study, we examined the relationship between congregational support and religious coping by pare...
Article
The purpose of this study is to test a conceptual model that aims to clarify the relationship between religious commitment and death anxiety. This model contains the following hypotheses: (1) people who affiliate with Conservative Protestant congregations will be more likely to attend worship services; (2) people who go to church more often will be...
Article
Research reveals that older people do a significant amount of volunteer work. Moreover, a good deal of this volunteering takes place in religious institutions. The purpose of this study is to examine how social factors in the church influence the decision to volunteer. The analyses are conducted in two steps. First, data from a longitudinal nationw...

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Project (1)
Project
To determine the relationship between spirituality, religiousness, psychosocial constructs such as happiness, life satisfaction, depression and anxiety with health and biological markers.