Navigation Links
Losing your religion deemed unhealthy
Date:9/22/2010

People who leave strict religious groups are more likely to say their health is worse than members who remain in the group, according to a Penn State researcher.

The percentage of people who left a strict religious group and reported they were in excellent health was about half that of people who stayed in the group, said Christopher Scheitle, senior research assistant, in sociology.

"Previous research showed some association between belonging to a religious group and positive health outcomes," Scheitle said. "We became interested in what would happen to your health if you left a religious group. Would people demonstrate any negative health outcomes?"

About 40 percent of members of strict religious groups reported they were in excellent health, according to the study. However, only 25 percent of members in those groups who switched to another religion reported they were in excellent health. The percentage of the strict religious group members who dropped out of religion completely and said their health was excellent fell to 20 percent. The difference between switchers and non-switchers, in reference to health, is statistically significant for the strict groups. The researchers reported their findings in the current issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

The study also indicated that people who were raised and remained in strict religious groups were more likely to report they were in better health than people affiliated with other religious groups. Scheitle, working with Amy Adamczyk, assistant professor of sociology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at the graduate center, City University of New York, defined strict religions, such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Jehovah's Witnesses, as exclusive groups with strict social, moral and physical guidelines for members.

The researchers suggested several possible reasons for the declining health conditions reported by former members.

Strict groups typically require members to abstain from unhealthy behaviors, such as alcohol and tobacco use. These groups also create both formal and informal support structures to promote positive health, according to Scheitle. The social bonds of belonging to the group might be another factor for better health.

"The social solidarity and social support could have psychological benefits," Scheitle said. "That could then lead to certain health benefits."

Religious beliefs may also promote better health by providing hope and encouraging positive thinking.

Besides losing connection to these health benefits, exiting a religious group may increase stressful situations.

"You could lose your friends or your family becomes upset when you leave, leading to psychological stress and negative health outcomes," said Scheitle.

The study does not necessarily mean that leaving a group causes poor health, Scheitle said. Poor health actually could prompt a member to leave the group. Strict sectarian groups require active involvement in meetings, services and social events that hinder participation by unhealthy members. An unhealthy member may also question membership in a group that promotes the belief in an all-powerful being who has failed to heal his or her condition.

For the study, Scheitle examined a total of 30,523 cases collected from 1972 through 2006 in the General Social Surveys. Of those, more than 10,000 switched to another religion and more than 2,000 dropped out of religion completely. A total of 423 strict religious group members were studied with approximately 96 members switching to other religions and about 54 members no longer affiliated with any religion. The Opinion National Research Center has conducted this survey annually or biennially since 1972. Scheitle said drawing deeper conclusions about the health issues from leaving a strict religious group would require more exact studies. Those longitudinal studies are new in the religious field, he added.


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Swayne
mls29@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. 1 in 5 Parents Missed Work for H1N1 School Closings: Survey
2. Closing the science-to-policy gap in maternal and child health in Africa
3. Revolutionary scale makes losing weight easier than ever
4. Millions Are Losing Their Hearing Unnecessarily; Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Is Always Preventable, Says HearUSA Audiologist
5. Latest Research Shows that Green Tea and Pomegranate are Helpful in Losing Weight after Menopause, according to Dr. Ershadi
6. SGIC Study Finds Drivers Are Losing Their Cool At School
7. New study reveals long delays and variability are losing the UK research and jobs
8. Labopharm announces closing of US$20 million public offering of units
9. Scientists Pinpoint Area of Brain That Fears Losing Money
10. How does religion affect psychiatric treatment?
11. Low-Dose Platelet Transfusions Deemed Safe
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/6/2016)... ... ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has written a new article ... Bible about helping to stop cancer. Yisrayl says there are too many suffering and dying ... and science industries will pay close attention and take action. The Pastor says that the ...
(Date:5/6/2016)... ... 06, 2016 , ... This Mother’s Day kicks off the start of an ... National Women’s Health Week takes place May 8-May 14. , Throughout the celebration, ... empower women to make their health a top priority. Women everywhere are being encouraged ...
(Date:5/6/2016)... ... May 06, 2016 , ... RowdMap, ... Blue Cross BlueShield and Former Principal Deputy Administrator at Centers for Medicare and ... Company; Steve Ondra, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Health Care Service Corporation (Blue ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... select performance in the industry’s gold standard KLAS Performance Report, Epic ... Consulting report assessed organizations that specialize in consulting services for electronic health record ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... Illinois (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... its “deeming regulations” for electronic cigarettes, requiring e-cigarette manufacturers to submit their ... a “tobacco product,” apply to all vaping products that entered the market since ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... 3, 2016 BioNovus Innovations LLC and ... Advancing Medical Innovation (IAMI) today announced a new ... and medical devices. An agreement between ... to license, develop and commercialize medical innovations advanced ... "This partnership represents a significant advance in our ...
(Date:5/3/2016)...  As a teenager, an active and athletic ... his heart. He continued enjoying sports and recreation throughout ... heart was giving out and he was a few ... the Mesa, Arizona resident received ... heart transplant, the SynCardia TAH-t is the only approved ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. , May 3, 2016  While you may be familiar with watching ... 4K resolution , also known as ultra-high-definition or 8MP in the Medical Industry.  Ampronix  is ... class manufacturer of innovative technology. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160502/362730 ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: