Religious attendance and the health behaviors of Texas adults

Prev Med. 2006 Apr;42(4):309-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2005.12.005. Epub 2006 Jan 30.


Objective: The purpose of this study is to test whether religious involvement is associated with a broad range of health behaviors.

Method: We employ data from the 2004 Survey of Texas Adults, a statewide probability sample of 1504 Texas adults. Using these data, we estimate a series of logistic regression models to assess the net effects of religious attendance on 12 health behaviors.

Results: Our results show that regular religious attendance (especially weekly attendance) is associated with a wide range of healthy behaviors, including preventive care use, vitamin use, infrequent bar attendance, seatbelt use, walking, strenuous exercise, sound sleep quality, never smoking, and moderate drinking.

Conclusion: If religious involvement is associated with healthy behaviors, additional studies are needed to account for these associations. Future research might also consider health behaviors other than drinking and smoking as potential mechanisms through which religious involvement might benefit health and prolong life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Primary Prevention
  • Probability
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sleep
  • Texas