Spirituality is defined in individual terms, characterized by experiences involving meaning, connectedness, and transcendence, whereas religion is defined in communal terms, characterized by institutionalized practices and beliefs, membership and modes of organization (Pesut, Fowler, Taylor, Reimer-Kirkham & Sawatzky, 2008; Miller & Thorensen, 2003). Inquiries Journal provides undergraduate and graduate students around the world a platform for the wide dissemination of academic work over a range of core disciplines. The relation between religiosity, selected health behaviors, and blood pressure among adult females. Is Medical Debt a Social Determinant of Health? Psychosomatic Medicine, 60, 38-41. In a world dominated by a culture of consumption, religion offers a venue for individuals to commit to something beyond themselves, in addition to empowering the community, overall. Walton, K.G., Pugh, N.D., Gerderloos, P. & Macrae, P. (1995). "The Influence of Religion on Health." spirituality/religion influences health through these pathways, they act in an indirect way on health (Oman & Thorensen, 2002). There is increasing recognition within contemporary western medicine of the significant links between spirituality/religion and health, and the need for health professionals to understand their patients’ spiritual/religious beliefs and practices. Does devoutness delay death? Dealing with the issue of healthcare is no small challenge for any country, either rich or poor. Learn more | Blog | Submit. In healthcare literature religion and spirituality are most of the time used interchangeably, although they have quite different meanings (Miller & Thorensen, 2003). 2011. The health savings value of religious practice in 2012 was around $115.5 billion, according to Rodney Stark, Pulitzer Prize nominee and Baylor University researcher.1), Good mental health is highly correlated to religious participation.2) An increase in religious practice was associated with having greater hope and a greater sense of purpose in life.3) A systemic literature review of 99 studies found “some positive association…between religious involvement and greater happiness, life satisfaction, morale, positive affect, or some other measure of well-being” 81 percent of the time. The results of the literature review show that the impacts of religious belief on mental health are generally positive, with the strongest association being the link between religious belief and decreased depression, as well as reduced anxiety and suicide risk, and to a lesser extent, reduced If these other predictors are entered first in a regression equation, they will account for most of the proportion of variance in the health outcome. Brown of Emory University, the “Catholic Church—one of the largest health care providers—operated 5,246 hospitals, 17,530 dispensaries, 577 leprosy clinics, and 15,208 houses for the chronically ill and handicapped world-wide.”48) Brian and Melissa Grim put the U.S. economic contribution of the religious organizations to the healthcare sector at $161 billion. Many Buddhists are vegetarians, though some include fish in their diet. However, a major problem in the study of the relationship between spirituality/religion and health is that randomization is very hard to do, sometimes even impossible. the “Birds of a Feather” concept) without a clear answer... Conceptualizing Spirituality and Religion and Methodological Considerations. Effects of Religious Practice on Health. Religious struggle as a predictor of mortality among medically ill elderly patients: A 2-year longitudinal study. Religion and spirituality: Linkages to physical health. In the battle to prevent and eradicate such maladies... Medical Debt has largely been viewed as a financial burden. The Relationship between Spirituality and Health, The Relationship between Religion and Health, Effects of Collectivistic and Individualistic Cultures on Imagination Inflation in Eastern and Western Cultures, Chinese Women and Christianity in the Late Imperial Era, Gender-Specific Language of the Major Prophets in The Hebrew Bible: The Case of the First and Second Isaiah, Byzantine and Russian Influences in Andrei Rublev's Art, Solving Health Issues in Ethiopia with Religion. Terms of Use :: Privacy Policy :: Contact. In addition, religion can mediate the relationship between the desired quality of life and a particular health outcome. The Ironson-Woods spirituality/religiousness index is associated with long survival, health behaviors, less distress, and low cortisol in people with HIV/AIDS. Yes, religion does affect your mental health, and as the stats show, it affects positively. American Journal of Epidemiology, 136, 884-894. (1997). Now, if this experience occurs in a church service, does it produce even greater well-being and happiness? (1998). (2009). Religion and Mental Health . Oman, D., Kurata, J.H., Strawbridge, W.J. For others, religion and spirituality may be sources of problems that need to be addressed in the service of their health and well-being. Home | Current Issue | Blog | Archives | Whether and how religion and spirituality training are critical components of students’ and clinicians’ development of cultural humility is explored in this month's issue. But, religions bring in dress changes like wearing a fully covered dress for women or sari for Hindu women. & Spiegel, D. (2001). Is there, in short, a God dividend? Religion, belief and culture should be recognized as potential sources of moral purpose and personal strength in healthcare, enhancing the welfare of both clinicians and patients amidst the experience of ill-health, healing, suffering and dying. Religious worship also increases longevity, improves an individual's chances of recovering from illness, and lessens the incidence of many diseases. Four most prominent such pathways have been proposed: health behaviors (through prescribing a certain diet and/or discouraging the abuse of alcoholic beverages, smoking, etc., religion can protect and promote a healthy lifestyle), social support (people can experience social contact with co-religionists and have a web of social relations that can help and protect whenever the case), psychological states (religious people can experience a better mental health, more positive psychological states, more optimism and faith, which in turn can lead to a better physical state due to less stress) and ‘psi’ influences (supernatural laws that govern ‘energies’ not currently comprehended by science but possibly understandable at some point by science). Miller and Thorensen (2003) summarize two approaches that could be applied to the research on spirituality/religion and health: the unique variance approach and the causal modeling approach. Acta Psychologica Scandinavica: Supplementum, 160, 158-162. Koenig, H.G., Cohen, H.J., George, L.K., Hays, J.C., Larson, D.B. American Psychologist, 58, 53-63. American Journal of Kidney Diseases, 24, 42-49. Sephton, S.E., Koopman, C., Schaal, M., Thorensen, C.E. Religious involvement and mortality: A meta-analytic review. & Martin, L.R. While in other cultures, typically collectivist, these negative outcomes aren’t seen.... Research has shown that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) shares similar genetic roots with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Religion and Well-being: Assessing the evidence. Other research has looked at Judeo/Christian/Muslim religious practices (in particular, synagogue/church/mosque attendance and/or prayer) and health.Continued on Next Page ». & Blazer, D.G. The second type of approach considers that if a predictor (in this case spirituality/religion) is entered after one or more other predictors (e.g., current health condition, gender, socioeconomic status, and diet) and still accounts for additional unique variance in a health outcome, then the relationship between the predictor and the health outcome is not due only to the variance between the health outcome and the other predictors (gender, SES etc.). Attendance at religious services, interleukin-6, and other biological parameters of immune function in older adults. & Cohen, R.D (2002). Expressed beliefs lead to differences in response to illness and disease, influencing health seeking behaviour, interpretation, and ultimately diagnosis by health care practitioners. These dress change over will affect social compatibility and lead to conflicts. Moreover, four interpretations of how spirituality/religion influence health have been proposed. However, because this resource is not investigated and used at its full capacity, health psychology risks promoting a cultural iatrogenesis (healer-induced disability to cope with illness) (Oman & Thorensen, 2003). Sarri, K.O., Tzanakis, N.E., Linardakis, M.K., Mamalakis, G. D. & Kafatos, A.D. (2003). Finally, the ‘psychobehavioral’ interpretation, stresses that religion can influence health through various psychological conditions such as character, will-power, focused attention or increased motivation beyond pathways such as social support (Oman & Thorensen, 2002). Religiosity is associated with affective and immune status in symnptomatic HIV-infected gay men. Religion is considered too personal a subject. match them for age, gender, SES etc.). The newsletter highlights recent selections from the journal and useful tips from our blog. (2011). Schneider, R.H., Nidich, S.I., Salerno, J.W., Sharma, H.M., Robinson, C.E., Nidich, R.J. & Alexander, C.N. The difficulty in conceptualizing spirituality/religion comes from the multidimensionality of these concepts (Miller & Thorensen, 2003), and extends to the problem of how exactly spirituality/religion influence health. This, in turn, emphasizes the fact that there are multiple interpretations of how spirituality/religion influences health and a number of pathways through which this happens. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 27, 233-250. However, those benefits tend to diminish depending on whether or not their faith is extrinsic or intrinsic. Despite being often overlooked within the discipline of International Relations (Lee, 2004: 29; Bambra et al., 2005: 187), the governance of health has become central to international politics. - 80% of research on spirituality/religiousness and health focuses on mental health. American Journal of Public Health, 88, 1469-1475. Journal of Health Psychology ,8, 223-229. This empowering happens through consciousness of religious principles, such as the sanctity of human life, shared identity, meaningful roles in the community and society at large, a variety of spiritual, social and economic support, social networks, and even leadership for social change and protection in time of conflicts. , Basu-Zharku, Iulia O. The first approach requires that a new factor (in this case spirituality/religion) significantly improves predicting a health outcome, beyond other recognized factors (e.g., family history, gender, socioeconomic status, age, or stress). Being vigilant regarding spiritual/religious beliefs and practices can lead to earlier patient release dates, … Most of the research published has been done on spirituality and/or Eastern religious practices (e.g., meditation, yoga, relaxation exercises) and health. Specifically, the... Western society is becoming increasingly secular as religion disappears from the public sphere. There is also a strong social networking benefit of a shared activity that is often emotionally uplifting. A new theoretical model defines the two distinct pathways. Spiritual expression and immune status in women with metastatic breast cancer: An explanatory study. Conceptualising spirituality and religion for healthcare. But when people convert to other religions, they tend to change. & Sherwood, A. Medical Journal of Islamic Academy of Sciences, 13, 35-38. Religious attendance and cause of death over 31 years. (2003). ‘Does religion cause health? : Differing interpretation and diverse meanings. Religiosity and its relation to blood pressure among selected Kuwaitis. "Religion … Journal of Health Psychology, 7, 365-380. In addition, spirituality/religion can mediate the relationship between another variable (e.g., quality of life) and a health outcome (Miller & Thorensen, 2003). (1978). The second interpretation, the ‘psychobiological’ one, considers that spirituality/religion influence health through psychoneuroimmunological or psychoneuroendocrinological pathways beyond the benefits that religion has through health behaviors and social support. (1998). Seeman, T. E., Fagan-Dubin, L. & Seeman, M. (2003). Hixon, K.A., Gruchow, H.W. Although no two religions hold exactly the same ideology about diet, health, and spiritual wellness , many do embrace similar practices. Infante, J.R., Peran, F., Martinez, M., Roldan, A., Poyatos, R. Ruiz, C., Garrido, S. & Garrido, F. (1998). Similar issues arise in countries composed of other faiths, such as Islam. British Medical Journal, 290, 1103-1106. & Ostfeld, A.M. (1992). Kutner, N.G., Lin, L.S., Fielding, B., Brogan, D. & Hall, W.D. The birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha are the three most commonly recognized festivals for feasting, resting from work, or fasting. Oman, D. & Thorensen, C.E. © 2020 Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse LLC. (2002). Buddhist monks fast completely on … (1995). & Ellison, C.G. Religious practice substantially contributes to physical and mental health. Trial of relaxation reducing coronary risk: Four year follow up. (2000). (2001). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 866-882. (1997). Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse, 3(01). Without spirituality does critical health psychology risk fostering cultural iatrogenesis?. Adolescent Practice of Religious Worship, http://www.manhattaninstitute.org/pdf/crrucs_objective_hope.pdf, http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2016/04/Religion-in-Everyday-Life-FINAL.pdf, http://marri.us/wp-content/uploads/MA-49-51-165.pdf, http://marri.us/wp-content/uploads/MA-34-36-160.pdf, http://marri.us/wp-content/uploads/MA-140.pdf, http://marri.us/wp-content/uploads/MA-141.pdf, 95 Social Science Reasons for Religious Worship and Practice, Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24, 34-48. (2001). Ironson, G., Solomon, G.F., Balbin, E.G., O'Cleirigh, C., George, A., Kumar, M., Larson, D. & Woods, T.E. Individuals who practice a religious belief system have been noted to experience a wealth of psychological benefits from their belief. American Psychologist, 58, 24-35. Thus, whereas spirituality is understood at the level of the individual, religion is more of a social phenomenon, and as such is included in the more overarching concept of spirituality. Moreover, the views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Inquiries Journal or Student Pulse, its owners, staff, contributors, or affiliates. For Ethipoia, health issues represent a major challenge. Religion can also be conceptualized as religiousness, as an individual phenomenon, characterized by the adherence of an individual to specific beliefs and practices (Miller & Thorensen, 2003). Furthermore, religion can affect policy, a prime example arising in the Philippines, where provision of reproductive health services, including family planning and contraception was hampered by the Catholic Church. Regular religious practice lessens depression, promotes self-esteem, and builds familial and marital happiness. [1] These serious illnesses, which have the greatest mortality rate of any psychological disorder, are characterized... Research shows conflicting results when relaying how personality traits play into successful and satisfying romantic relationships. Hormones and Behavior, 10, 54-60. This analysis included a wide diversity of ages, races, and denominations.4), Religious affiliation and regular church attendance were among the most common reasons people gave to explain their own happiness.5) Happiness was greater and psychological health was better among those who attended religious services regularly.6) According to the Pew Research Center, highly religious7) Americans are more likely to be “Very happy with the way things are going in life” and to be “Very satisfied with family life” than their less religious counterparts.8) A majority of the literature in an extensive review concluded that religious commitment and practice lead to increased self-esteem and that religious practice correlated with increased social support.9) Older Americans who went to church frequently were more likely to have a closer relationship with God, more likely to provide social support for family and friends, and more likely to have a deeper sense of meaning in life.10), According to the General Social Survey (GSS), 34.1 percent of adults who attended religious services at least monthly as adolescents considered themselves very happy, compared to 28.9 percent of adults who attended worship less than monthly as adolescents.11) (See Chart), Those who worshiped frequently and were raised in an intact family tended to be the most happy. In light of these considerations, Oman and Thorensen (2003) point out that health psychology should cultivate an understanding of how religion and spirituality are felt, lived, and experienced by the populations of interest. ACTH and β-endorphin in transcendental meditation. The Influence of Religion on Health. This would help professionals release the old stereotypes and prejudices that they have about this topic. Religious practice substantially contributes to physical and mental health. The American Journal of Sociology, 97, 1052-1079. Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse 3.01 (2011). One study found that people were much more inclined to use positive coping responses when they received spiritual support from fellow church members.22) When like-minded individuals and families joined together in prayer, mutual support, or religious practice, they viewed their circumstances with spiritual significance: not only mundane daily affairs, but also major life traumas.23) In a study of high-school students from West Virginia, the “ego strengths of hope, will, purpose, fidelity, love, and care” increased as the students lived out their religious beliefs more intently.24), Thus, involvement in religious practice, religious organizations, and religious communities tends to lead to favorable self-image and to foster the development of faith, hope, benevolence, and a belief in divine grace as personal spiritual resources.25), According to the National Survey of Children's Health, parents whose children attended worship at least weekly report slightly less parenting stress than those parents whose children attended worship less frequently.26) (See Chart Below), Both public and private religious practice protect against depression. (1992). Community plays a huge role in people’s live Pargament, I., Koenig, H.G., Tarakeshwar, N. & Hahn, J. Koenig, H.G., George, L.K., Hays, J.C., Larson, D.B., Cohen, H.J. Spirituality, religion, and health: An emerging research field. Religion is a subject that we encounter daily, either because we follow a specific faith and the rules established by it, or because we meet people who proclaim their faith unabashed, or because we know it is a taboo subject in social conversations. In addition, the existing and growing literature on the benefits of religion/spirituality should be more thoroughly explored and research on the theme should be encouraged. Choral singing is great for health: It engages people mentally and physically. Regular religious practice lessens depression, promotes self-esteem, and builds familial and marital happiness. Effects of Greek Orthodox Christian Church fasting on serum lipids and obesity. Psychological investment in religion and its associations with longevity in the Terman sample. 2011. Because spirituality/religion influence health through these pathways, they act in an indirect way on health (Oman & Thorensen, 2002). In the past two decades, the number of studies devoted to the problem of the influence of religious fasting on health has increased considerably. Psychosomatic Medicine, 63, 523-530. &Williams, D.R. Stress reduction and preventing hypertension: Preliminary support for a psychoneuroendocrine mechanism. Surveys show that people would like to be able to talk about matters of faith in psychological treatment. Then when the spirituality/religion predictor is entered, it might show a significant increase in the proportion of variance. Mental Health Benefits of Religion Religion gives people something to believe in, provides a sense of structure and typically offers a group of people to connect with over similar beliefs. Changes in cardiovascular risk factors and hormones during a comprehensive residential three month Kriya yoga training and vegetarian nutrition. Save Citation »  (Works with EndNote, ProCite, & Reference Manager), Basu-Zharku, I. O. The devoutly religious have fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression in addition to having a better ability to cope with stressors. The Connections Betweens Our Beliefs and Our Overall Health In a nutshell, being religious is strongly associated with better overall mental health and well-being. Oman, D. & Thorensen, C.E. Affiliation to some religions 6 and valuing religion does not tend to result in healing experience of religion, 7 rather it’s religious activity, 8 involvement 9, or attendance that appear to aid individuals on their journey to recovery. Health Psychology, 19, 211-222. Surveys regularly show that roughly 90 … McCullough, M.E., Friedman, H.S., Enders, C.K. The Rise of Global Health: How Did Health Become a Matter of Global Concern? Religion’s influence on patient care is expressed in prayer requests, in clinician-chaplain collaborations, and through health care organizations’ religious accommodations for patients and staff. Religion can also influence mental health in both positive and negative ways. Finally, with the aid of community health psychology, the field of health psychology at large should move towards promoting culture as a means of understanding between health care provider and patient and in the interest of prevention, as well. & Davidson, J.M. Yet, it is associated with poor mental and behavioral health as well as lower wellbeing and negative relational strategies. & Patel, M. (1985). This ability to empower could be used by health psychologists in medical settings (and not only) to help those who struggle with a disease or to promote a healthier lifestyle. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 28, 189-213. Religion helps followers engage in healthier lifestyle practices on a daily basis. Listening to their beliefs and views on their faith along with how those beliefs are tied into their health can build trust between physician and patient. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 32, 69-89. Hummer, R.A., Rogers, R.G., Nam, C.B. (2003). & Blazer, D.G. "The Influence of Religion on Health." A third interpretation, the ‘superempirical’ or ‘psi’ interpretation, considers that spirituality/religion influence health through superempirical pathways, beyond health behaviors and psychological states. We used to worship the strong and big animals, natural assurances like lightning storm and fire. Musik, M.A., House, J.S. The main purpose of any fast is spiritual cleansing. Additional stress in these … But why is the religion so important to so many people? (2003). Religious involvement and U.S. adult mortality. Powell, L.H., Shahabi, L. & Thorensen, C.E. (1999). The focus has been on trait similarity (i.e. Progressive multivariate adjustments were done for age, gender, sociodemographic variables, health status, social connnections and health behaviors, and the analyses showed that healthy lifestyle behaviors represent the major pathway through which religious involvement influences health but that it does not explain all the influence. This review also found that 87 percent of the studies surveyed concluded that religious practice correlated with reduced incidence of suicide.27) According to Tyler J. VanderWeele et al of Harvard University, women aged 30 to 55 years who attended religious services at least weekly had a five-fold lower rate of suicide than those who never attended.28) A 2016 analysis of the Nurses’ Health Study29) by Harvard researchers showed that women who attended religious services weekly or more were less likely to become depressed. 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O activities and blood to... Like wearing a fully covered dress for women or sari for Hindu.! In both positive and negative relational strategies short, a God dividend longevity in the Terman sample powell,,. This website is for informational purposes only and lead to conflicts experience a wealth of psychological benefits from belief! To learn more how does religion affect health self-care and preventive health behaviors, and fasting blood sugar 233-250! And preventive health behaviors, and spiritual wellness, many do embrace similar practices the same ideology about,! Or acts as a source of comfort and strength when people convert to other religions, they tend to.... Symptoms of anxiety and depression in addition to having a better ability to with... Related to health have serious methodological consequences selected health behaviors assurances like lightning storm and fire randomized trial... 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