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Most people around the world identify with some form of religion. For clinicians working with families and couples, understanding clients’ religious beliefs and practices can be an important and sometimes integral part of the clinical process. This entry discusses how religion is defined; research findings on its connections to health, well-being, and marital satisfaction; and how clinicians address religion in working with clients.

Defining Religion

Religion refers to a set of beliefs, practices, and views, often linked very closely to cultural practices and specific ethnic groups. Major world religions include Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Confucianism, while other religions include the Baha’i Faith, Jainism, Sikhism, Chinese folk religions, and traditional African religions. Religions often include a set of beliefs that explain or give meaning to human nature, ...

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