Religious activity, alcohol use, and depression in a sample of elderly baptists

Journal Article (Review;Journal)

Recent research has shown the beneficial effects of religious activity for individual health and well-being among older adults. The purpose of this article is to determine whether breaking the norms of the religious group can have deleterious consequences for individual mental health and whether this effect is exacerbated by frequent service attendance. To test these ideas, the authors used two waves of data collected from a sample of older adults (age 65 and over) living in central North Carolina. Using only sample members who reported an affiliation with a Baptist denomination, the authors tested whether attending services more often and living in rural areas were associated with a smaller likelihood of alcohol use. The authors further tested whether the use of alcohol in this sample was associated with higher counts of depressive symptoms. The results indicate that older Baptists who lived in rural areas and who attended services more often were less likely to use alcohol. It was also found that alcohol use had no effect on depressive symptoms. One exception to this latter finding was that among rural Baptists who rarely attended religious services, using alcohol was associated with more depressive symptoms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Musick, MA; Blazer, DG; Hays, JC

Published Date

  • January 1, 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 91 - 116

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0164-0275

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0164027500222001

Citation Source

  • Scopus