Religious effects on health status and life satisfaction among black Americans

J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 1995 May;50(3):S154-63. doi: 10.1093/geronb/50b.3.s154.


This study tests a theoretical model linking religiosity, health status, and life satisfaction using data from the National Survey of Black Americans, a nationally representative sample of Blacks at least 18 years old. Findings reveal statistically significant effects for organizational religiosity on both health and life satisfaction, for nonorganizational religiosity on health, and for subjective religiosity on life satisfaction. Analyses of structural invariance reveal a good overall fit for the model across three age cohorts (< or = 30, 31-54, > or = 55) and confirm that assuming age-invariance of structural parameters does not significantly detract from overall fit. In addition, after controlling for the effects of several sociodemographic correlates of religiosity, health, and well-being, organizational religiosity maintains a strong, significant effect on life satisfaction. These findings suggest that the association between religion and well-being is consistent over the life course and not simply an artifact of the confounding of measures of organizational religiosity and health status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Religion*