Trajectories of Religious Change From Adolescence to Adulthood, and Demographic, Environmental, and Psychiatric Correlates.
Studies of religiosity and mental health largely characterize religiousness as stable over time. However, research shows that religiosity likely changes significantly with development. It is unclear whether associations of religiosity with mental health also change over the lifespan. Latent growth curves were created to quantify changes in multiple religious variables, identify associated psychosocial variables, and observe relationships between religiosity and mental health from adolescence to adulthood. Analyses used four waves of data from over 9000 subjects, from ages 12 to 34 years. Although religious service attendance decreased over time, the importance of religion increased and the frequency of prayer remained relatively stable. Baseline religiosity and changes over time were related to contextual variables including race, socioeconomic status, and peer substance use. Correlations with mental health varied over time. Religiosity should be conceptualized as multidimensional and dynamic; religion/health research should consider the impact of multiple psychosocial variables as well as bidirectional relationships with mental health.
Dew, RE; Fuemmeler, B; Koenig, HG
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