Religious people tend to live slightly longer lives (M. E. McCullough, W. T. Hoyt, D. B. Larson, H. G. Koenig, & C. E. Thoresen, 2000). On the basis of the principle of social investment (J. Lodi-Smith & B. W. Roberts, 2007), the authors sought to clarify this phenomenon with a study of religion and longevity that (a) incorporated measures of psychological religious commitment; (b) considered religious change over the life course; and (c) examined 19 measures of personality traits, social ties, health behaviors, and mental and physical health that might help to explain the religion-longevity association. Discrete-time survival growth mixture models revealed that women (but not men) with the lowest degrees of religiousness through adulthood had shorter lives than did women who were more religious. Survival differences were largely attributable to cross-sectional and prospective between-class differences in personality traits, social ties, health behaviors, and mental and physical health.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science