Church-based social relationships, belonging, and health among older Mexican Americans

J Sci Study Relig. 2011;50(2):397-409. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2011.01575.x.


The purpose of this study is to explain how church-based emotional support influences the health of older Mexican Americans. This issue is evaluated with a theoretical model that contains the following core linkages: (1) older Mexican Americans who go to church more often will be more likely to receive emotional support from fellow church members; (2) older Mexican Americans who receive more support from their fellow church members will be more likely to feel they belong in their congregation; (3) older Mexican Americans who feel they belong in their congregation are likely to have a stronger sense of personal control; and (4) older Mexican Americans who have a stronger sense of personal control are likely to enjoy better health. Data from a recent nationwide survey of older Mexican Americans provide support for each of these relationships.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Health*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Interpersonal Relations* / history
  • Mexican Americans* / education
  • Mexican Americans* / ethnology
  • Mexican Americans* / history
  • Mexican Americans* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Mexican Americans* / psychology
  • Religion* / history
  • Residence Characteristics* / history
  • Social Behavior / history
  • Social Identification
  • Social Support*