Healthy leaders: Multilevel health promotion considerations for diverse United Methodist Church pastors


Journal Article (Academic article)

Community psychologists often work with institutions and leaders, such as clergy, to bring about social change. Studies finding high rates of chronic disease among clergy have called for the design of clergy health interventions. However, among clergy there is substantial diversity. We conducted four focus groups with a cross-section of United Methodist clergy and one focus group each with female, local, young, and large-church pastors. We compared themes from the specific versus broader focus groups. Findings include: female pastors feeling guilty for taking personal time and experiencing pressure to prove themselves; local pastors reporting financial strain and utilizing a variety of interpersonal relationships; young pastors indicating child-related stress but also greater interest in nutrition, exercise, and church-based health promotion; and large-church pastors expressing increased confidence in negotiating personal time and reporting more sharing of pastoral duties. We organized themes by levels of the Socioecological Framework to guide intervention design.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • LeGrand, S; Proeschold Bell, RJ; James, J; Wallace, A

Published Date

  • 2012

Published In

  • Journal of Community Psychology