Religion and Health

A rapidly growing literature has examined the implications of religion and spirituality for a wide array of health outcomes, including mortality, physical health and biological functioning, and a range of mental health outcomes. Although the research findings are complex, the available evidence indicates that at least some aspects of religious involvement are linked with a range of salutary health outcomes. At the same time, other facets of religion have been shown to undermine health and well-being.

This brief entry has four objectives: (1) to summarize quickly the evidence regarding religious factors and health, (2) to identify key theoretical mechanisms or pathways via which religion may influence health and well-being, (3) to explore the conceptualization and measurement of health-relevant religious domains, and (4) to highlight several important ...

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