Role of Religiosity in the Lives of the Low-Income Population: A Comprehensive Review of the Evidence. Mental Health, Physical Health, and Health Services Outcomes

07/10/2009

Similar to the research literature on the general population, the majority of the identified quantitative studies for low-income populations have been undertaken within the last decade. Empirical questions focus on how organizational religiosity, as measured by church attendance and participation in religious social activities, and nonorganizational religiosity, such as religious and spiritual beliefs, rituals, and prayer, are associated with health outcomes in three general areas: mental health, physical health, and use of preventive health services.

Given the diverse samples and measures of religiosity, we summarize the findings for the effects of religiosity on health in the low-income population by these three primary health outcomes (mental health, physical health, and use of preventive health services). The tables in this section summarize the results for the quantitative studies, and the text highlights the results of quantitative and qualitative studies. We have noted mediating and moderating effects when they have been formally tested in the statistical models.

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