Religious and spiritual struggles and health changes : consequences of the dark side of religion.


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The purpose of this work is to examine the relationships between religious and spiritual struggles (r/s struggles) and health. There is research that finds r/s struggles are associated with a variety of health outcomes; however, this work has not examined changes in health over time. I examine the relationship between r/s struggles and health using improved methods by exploring the association longitudinally. Ultimately, longitudinal association provides greater justification for causation between r/s struggles and health. Ordered Logistic regression techniques were implemented to examine the relationship health and r/s struggles. To test my hypotheses, the Portraits of American Life Survey (PALS) dataset is analyzed (N=1314). Results show a modest relationship between self-rated health and r/s struggles, a strong relationship between depression and r/s struggles, and a strong relationship between purpose and r/s struggles. This work provides a greater understanding to factors influencing health, and stronger support for religion as a potential cause of health.



Religion. Spirituality. Health.