Belief in life after death and mental health: findings from a national survey.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The present study examined the association between belief in life after death and six measures of psychiatric symptomology in a national sample of 1403 adult Americans. A statistically significant inverse relationship was found between belief in life after death and symptom severity on all six symptom clusters that were examined (i.e., anxiety, depression, obsession-compulsion, paranoia, phobia, and somatization) after controlling for demographic and other variables (e.g., stress and social support) that are known to influence mental health. No significant association was found between the frequency of attending religious services and any of the mental health measures. The results are discussed in terms of the potentially salubrious effects of religious belief systems on mental health. These findings suggest that it may be more valuable to focus on religious beliefs than on religious practices and behaviors in research on religion and mental health.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Flannelly, KJ; Koenig, HG; Ellison, CG; Galek, K; Krause, N

Published Date

  • July 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 194 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 524 - 529

PubMed ID

  • 16840849

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3018

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/01.nmd.0000224876.63035.23


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States